One of my favorite places in the area to visit and hike is Thacher Park. The stunning Helderberg Escarpment is one of the most fossil rich formations in the US (can you believe that?). You can see the Green Mountains in Vermont from the top, as well as panoramic views of the lower lands.
The main trail is the Indian Ladder Trail. The name came into use because the Iroquois used this path to reach Henry Hudson’s trading post. As you can see from this picture, there were rudimentary ladders put into place to get up the cliff face. I think that would be awfully exciting, especially in those dresses and probably slippery shoes! It would be really cool if they still used that, but there are man-made metal steps now – which I guess is both safer and makes it more accessible. Sigh.
Another notable site at the escarpment is the “Tory Cave”. It is a limestone cave near the top of the escarpment. Legend has it that a Tory (someone loyal to the English monarchy) named Jacob Salsbury hid out from the patriot troops there. He was rumored to be a spy, informing the British on the Patriots. In between the American Revolution and the Native Americans, there is a lot of history to be learned about here!
Oh, another site not to be missed! The waterfall! You can stand beside it, behind or even under it if you are more daring. Depending on the rainfall, it can be pretty forceful and big, or more of a skinny stream plunging off the rocks. Either way is wonderful, due to its sheer height.
There are several orchards in the area, including the aptly named Indian Ladder Farms. There you can check out apple picking, farm animals, a market and a gift shop. Stay tuned for more about that though – Next week we will talk about Fall and all the reasons it the best! For now – go hike at Thacher’s!
Take advantage of our Autumn Package with a Taste of NY artisnal basket, maps, and brochures, goodies from Indian Ladder Farms, and 10% off the room rate for a 2 night stay. Our online reservation system will lead you on!