Taconic State Park
In the summertime, people ask me at the cookie table at the Hudson Farmers’ Market, “Trixie, we’re hot! Where can we go for a swim?” One of the reasons I write this blog, is so that I don’t have to repeat myself, and I can send a quick link.
I took some advice from my good friend, Lisa Durfee of the Five and Diamond – and found the two nearby (about twenty minutes) Taconic/Taghkanic parks – with different spellings!
There’s lifeguards and a kiddie area with a little sand, picnic tables, and places to camp.
However, call first to make sure that swimming is allowed that day.
Right outside the park entrance is an adorable camp store with ice cream.
Taconic State Park is also adjacent to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
There’s Taconic State Park and then there’s Lake Taghkanic State Park – very different with different spellings (just to confuse you), and both are about twenty minutes from Hudson.
Lake Taghkanic State Park – upstate’s beach
You can go camping in both, and there’s plenty of picnic tables and BBQ’s.
Lake Taghkanic State Park
Lake Taghkanic State Park has a huge beach, and a beachy vibe. There’s a concession area (above) lots of sand and a beach crowd. You’ll find families and muscle studs.
The rumor I’ve heard is that the sand is from Long Island. I have not found anything on the interwebs to confirm that.
I do not want to say that Lake Taghkanic is like upstate’s version of Jones Beach, because it’s nothing like Jones Beach. There’s no ocean, waves, seagulls, big crowds, or anything you’d find at Jones Beach. But if you are JONESING for Jones Beach, then Lake Taghkanic is a good substitute – and much closer.
High Falls in Philmont is even closer to Hudson, about fifteen minutes. Once you’re there, you have to hike to the falls, but it’s well worth it. There’s no swimming and no lifeguards, but it’s a cool place to visit when the weather is warm.
There’s no swimming allowed at Stuyvesant Falls Park on Kinderhook Creek, but there’s picnic tables, BBQ’s and it is generally quiet. Views are excellent, and there’s a great story of how the town brought back the hydro generator.
Right in our own little City of Hudson, you’ll find a small beach along Oakdale Lake. Sometimes swimming and lifeguards, but always a great spot to relax. It’s located on 132 North 6th Street, Hudson, NY
Adulterers Beware! Bash Bish Falls on the NY/MA Border
One time, someone said BISH Bash to me, and for years, I said Bish Bash. But, that’s wrong. It’s BASH Bish. Maybe it’s the expression, mish mash, that’s throwing me off…I don’t know. Anyway…
“Bash Bish” is not only the name of one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area, it is also the name of the Mohican woman that was to be thrown off the falls. She was charged with adultery – punishable by death – all the while maintaining her innocence.
She was about to be bound when a smokey mist and dozens of butterflies appeared and circled her head. She broke free and plunged into the waters from the top of the falls, sixty feet high, never to be seen again. It is said that sometimes the falls resembles a woman plunging into the pool.
However, if you’ve been accused of adultery, and are looking for some vindication, I wouldn’t count on the mist and butterflies happening again.
2021 – new rules – no one is allowed to swim in the falls or pool underneath, or even get close.
To visit the falls, you have a couple of options:
1. Park in the Bash Bish Falls parking lot and hike 3/4 mile.
2. Camp/park and spend the day at Taconic State Park (and eat ice cream) and hike a mile and a half to the falls.
At Taconic State Park, you can go swimming – in a cold, (seemingly) bottomless former ore mine pit – not for the faint of heart.
This is one of my favorite signs EVER.
It’s worth the trip just to see this sign. The falls are amazing, too.
“Please Refrain” is very polite. If I was commissioned to write that sign, it would read
“Why do you feel a need to stack rocks? Why?”
Or, simply “Rock Stacking? Don’t!”.
You will be walking back and forth over the NYS-MASS border, so you may want to bring both a Yankees and a Red Sox hat.
You can never be too careful.