Items tagged with 'Thacher Park'

Thacher Climbing Coalition

Indian Ladder trail view at Thacher State Park

Thacher State Park doesn't currently allow rock climbing -- but it will eventually, possibly not far in the future. And a group called the Thacher Climbing Coalition is working toward that day. From the group's about page:

The Thacher Climbing Coalition promotes the enjoyment and protection of our natural cliff lands on the Helderberg Escarpment by way of rock and ice climbing. The organization is supported by climbers and others who believe that these natural highland areas have intrinsic worth, provide spiritual renewal, healthy exciting physical challenge, economic and ecological health for our region. Successful conservation depends on active engagement with the outdoors and we encourage climbers to join the ranks of other outdoor users in the region in support of land protection. We believe that climbing is a healthy, low-impact activity that deserves a place in parks and we strive to open and maintain access for climbers on the Escarpment.

A plan to allow rock climbing in Thacher Park has been in the works since at least 2013 when the state included the provision in the park's master plan. And last year, the state said it would be working with TCC on the effort.

Here's a TCC page with an overview of the current situation (which, to repeat, does not currently allow climbing).

Trail day: The Thacher Climbing Coalition has a trail day planned for this Saturday, September 24 for volunteers to work on building the climbers' trail. That link includes info about how to sign up and what to bring.

Noted: TCC's website includes a "Thacher not Thatcher" page.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Planning for the future of Thacher and Thompson's Lake State Parks
+ Thacher Park's namesake

The Great Ledge: Exploring Thacher showing this week

the great ledge whmt screengrab

A screengrab from the doc.

WMHT is showing the doc about Thacher State Park -- The Great Ledge: Exploring Thacher -- this week. It looks beautiful. (You can watch the trailer at that link.)

Documentary blurbage:

New York's John Boyd Thacher State Park in the Helderberg Mountains has inspired visitors for generations. The park resonates with natural beauty. It is a place of both wonder and discovery. Its over 2100 acres contain spectacular 1200 foot limestone cliffs formed over 100 million years ago, yielding dramatic views, subterranean caves, waterfalls, fossils, and miles of trails. The park also resonates with human history. Native Americans trails traversed the cliffs, the caves were a refuge for British loyalists during the American Revolution, in the 1800's it was the site of the anti-rent wars, and was a key locale in the burgeoning new science of geology.
This documentary is filmed in ultra-high definition. Footage is edited with additional historic and scientific interviews, recreational footage, and archival images from both the Albany Institute of History and Art and the Library of Congress, to create a breathtaking and informative program for viewers. The documentary explores the wonder of Thacher Park from never before seen perspectives and ask challenging questions about land use, conservation and historic preservation.

WMHT will show The Great Ledge Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30 pm on its main channel, with additional showings over the next two weeks on its various other channels (Create and World).

A majestic image of Thacher Park

thacher park print by ben karis-nix

Check out this great Thacher State Park print by Ben Karis-Nix. (We saw him mention it on Twitter.)

It reminds us of those majestic old US National Park posters.

The Thacher Park print is currently available at the Fort Orange General Store in Albany.

Another look at the planned Thacher State Park visitors center

thacher park visitors center rendering 2015-June 2 cropped

The visitors center will be located near the overlook.

The Cuomo admin announced the groundbreaking of the $3.8 million Thacher State Park visitors center today. Here are a few large-format renderings. A state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation spokesman tells us the project is planned to be ready in summer 2016.

Press release blurbage:

The center, to be set next to the trailhead and picnic area for the popular Indian Ladder Trail, will introduce visitors to new park features, including an expanded trail network, as well as new opportunities for biking, rock climbing, caving, environmental education and an new high-ropes adventure course. The activities are part of the plan announced by the Governor to reinvigorate the park.
The 8,240-square-foot Thacher Park Visitor Center will include:
+ a welcome information desk to help visitors explore the park's expansive trail network and other features;
+ a grand lobby and exhibit area to highlight the park's fossil-rich geological history;
+ a 1,340-square-foot multipurpose gathering space that can be reserved for special events such as weddings and family reunions;
+ public restrooms and park offices; and
+ an outdoor patio overlooking the escarpment where visitors can take in the park's dramatic views.

We didn't notice much that was new in the announcement -- it's mostly a reiteration of the plans already in place.

Dan Keefe, deputy public information officers for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, told us today that the new mountain biking skills course and expanded caving access are on track to be ready this summer. (Details on the planned ropes course are still being worked out with the contractor.)

One other thing: There are now specific details about the campaign to raise $1 million from private sources for exhibits and amenities at the new visitors center. The Open Space Institute is heading up the campaign -- and the website for it includes some additional details about the center (as well as how to donate).

images: NYS OPRHP

A few more bits about the planned upgrades at Thacher State Park

Thacher State Park Visitor Center 2015-March rendering cropped

Here's a larger, uncropped version. / image: NYS OPRHP

The rendering above is the latest version of the new visitor center planned for Thacher Park State Park. It was released this week as part of the announcement of the Cuomo admin's NY Parks 2020 plan, which proposes to spend about $900 million on upgrades for state parks.

The plan reiterates some of the already-planned new amenities for Thacher Park, including the $3.8 million visitors center which will overlook "the most dramatic views in the region." Dan Keefe, deputy public information officers for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, says there isn't a target completion date for the visitors center yet. But planning is already in progress for exhibits inside the center, and an effort to raise private money to pay for those exhibits will start this spring.

Thacher is also in line for new facilities for mountain biking, caving, and a high ropes course. Keefe says those are expected to be ready for this summer. And park officials will be working with the Thacher Climbing Coalition to identify rock climbing locations after the snow melts.

Other state parks in the region are also slated for upgrades as part of NY Parks 2020 (pdf). Among those plans: facilities improvements for Spa State Park, possibly adding the former Mt. McGregor prison forestland to Moreau Lake State Park, and the digitization of a collections at at Peebles Island. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

Earlier on AOA:
+ Funding for new Thacher Park visitor center
+ A master plan for Thacher State Park

Funding for new Thacher Park visitor center

Indian Ladder trail view at Thacher State ParkState parks in the Capital Region are getting $8.675 million for a handful of construction/repair projects, the Cuomo admin announced today.

The biggest chunk -- $3.8 million -- has been tagged for the construction of a new visitor center at Thacher Park. Dan Keefe, a spokesman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, told us this afternoon that the agency is currently also raising private money for the project, but it's scheduled to begin construction this fall with the goal of being finished by fall 2015.

As projected in the the park's master plan, released last November, the new facility will include a visitor center, event space available for rent, exhibits, and offices. Keefe said it will also have a view from the escarpment.

The Thacher Park master plan covered a wide range of projects intended to be spread out over many years. Keefe said a a few of them are lined up for work this season -- including replacement of bathrooms in late August.

A list of the other regional park projects funded in today's announcement is after the jump.

(there's more)

A master plan for Thacher State Park

Indian Ladder trail view at Thacher State Park

"This magnificent panorama has no parallel in the capital district."

The Cuomo admin released the final master plan for John Boyd Thacher and Thompson's Lake State Parks this week. The plan, which follows a draft plan from earlier this year, is like a road map for the future direction of the parks, identifying new uses and facility upgrades along with a general sense of how those developments are prioritized.

A quick scan of the highlights are after the jump. They include: a merger of the two parks, a redesigned main park area, rock climbing, cave access, mountain biking, expanded beach area, and new bathrooms.

(there's more)

Planning for the future of Thacher and Thompson's Lake State Parks

Indian Ladder trail view at Thacher State Park

As the draft plan notes: Thacher Park's "magnificent panorama has no parallel in the capital district."

The state Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation is currently in the process of planning a bunch of upgrades for John Boyd Thacher and Thompson's Lake State Parks.

The draft plan is wide ranging, from relatively straightforward and much-needed stuff (like new bathrooms) to a redesign of the some of the park's most-used areas. Also part of the proposed plan: officially combining Thacher and Thompson's Lake into one park. A lot of the changes wouldn't happen overnight -- the plan's timeline could extend as long as 15 years. And, of course, everything is subject to the availability of funding.

There's a public hearing on the proposed master plan for the parks this Thursday (August 1) at the New Scotland town hall at 7 pm.

The planning docs are posted online. We read them through them this afternoon and pulled a few quick-scan highlights.

(there's more)

The dog who fell off a cliff at Thacher Park -- and lived

dog rescued after falling at Thacher Park

The dog in the photo above -- Shiba, a Shiba Inu puppy -- was rescued Sunday after it fell off a cliff at Thacher Park.

From the Albany County Sheriff's Office press release:

Apparently "Shiba", a six month old Shibainu puppy had run off of a cliff located in the Hales Cave area of Thacher Park. Shiba was being walked in the area by her owner, Samantha Cullum of East Greenbush, when she strayed away from her owner and ran off of the cliff. The Albany County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team responded and repelled down the cliff to locate the canine. After an extensive search, Shiba was found hiding in a three foot deep crevice by members of the Search and Rescue Team. Shiba suffered what appeared to be a broken leg and was treated by Albany County Paramedics on the scene. Shiba was transported by her owner to the Latham Animal Hospital for emergency veterinary care. Albany County Sheriff's Patrol members, Albany County Paramedics, and maintenance staff from Thacher Park also assisted in the search.

Shiba's story about all this is totally going to trump the other dogs' stories about squirrels and tennis balls at the next dog park meetup.

Update: The dog's owner tells the TU she and the dog were far away from the cliffs when the dog took off -- and acknowledges she should have had the dog on a leash.

photo courtesy of Albany County Sheriff's Office

Public comments for Thacher Park, Thompson's Lake

thacher park indian ladder trail lowerThe state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is looking for public comment as it develops a new master plan John Boyd Thacher and Thompson's Lake State Parks:

Park master plans are used by the agency to analyze and improve park facilities and provide park patrons with a satisfying experience of the park's recreation and natural resources. The plan will review the current conditions at the park and make recommendations for improvement to existing facilities as well as new facilities to meet patron needs.

There's an open house at the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center on Saturday, April 28 from 9 am - 5 pm -- park and agency staff will be there to discuss park issues and gather public input.

When Thacher Park was closed temporarily a few years ago because of cuts, there was a huge outpouring of public support for the park.

Hey, maybe this it the chance to push for getting the old pool there (of which many people apparently have fond memories) fixed re-built and re-opened.

(Thanks, Mary Beth!)

Earlier on AOA:
+ Thacher Park's namesake
+ The mystery at Hang Glider Cliff
+ Camping at Thompson's Lake State Park
+ Hiking the Indian Ladder Trail

photo: Kathie Dello

The mystery at Hang Glider Cliff

Hang Glider Cliff Plaque
By Liz Clancy Lerner

Hang Glider Cliff at Thacher State Park is a pretty amazing spot. It's where many local hang gliders and paragliders take off from, and was once the starting point for a 71-mile flight all the way to Walton, New York (a record for the cliff).

There's a bit of a mystery atop Hang Glider Cliff, a plaque that reads "Fly Forever Dad" with the initials "ECS Jr" and the dates 1919-1992. It's embedded in the cement of the small runway. So who is ECS, and who laid that plaque?

Was it the site of a hang glider takeoff gone wrong? Is it a memorial for a man who loved flying, but died of other causes?

No one seemed to know, so I started asking around...

(there's more)

The Scoop

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