Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Helderberg Escarpment

The northernmost limit of the Catskill range ends in what's called the Helderberg Escarpment. Below it lie the western side of the Hudson Valley and the southern limit of the Mohawk Valley.

Albany in the Hudson Valley seen from Thacher Park high on the Helderberg Escarpment. The Taconics and Berkshires rise just beyond.
Massachusetts is to the top-right, Vermont is to the top-left.

At the top of the escarpment is the John Boyd Thacher Park, overlooking the valleys and the mountain ranges beyond. East of the city of Albany are the Taconic Mountains and the northern reaches of the Berkshires. Northward are the Adirondacks. To the northeast, the Green Mountains of Vermont. The Catskills are to the south.

A picnic area on the edge of the escarpment in Thacher Park.

I spent a lot of time in Thacher Park and the area around it while growing up. There's a lake not far from where I took these pictures called Thompson's Lake. My family went camping there during many summers. I remember one summer in particular, August 1974, when we were camped at Thompson's Lake. The entire campground listened to Richard Nixon's resignation speech. You could hear it echoing through the woods just walking around. Nearly every radio in the campground was tuned in. I was fourteen years old.


  1. An awesome photo. I, too, spent a lot of time in Thacher Park while growing up. The Capital District is a great place to live because of its proximity to everything.

  2. I was lots older when I heard that speech. What a nice place to camp!

  3. That looks like real country... love the rock formations on the scarp edge!

  4. paul, the crossroads of the Great Northeast! lol

    evelyn, good memories.

    gosia, yup.

    tim, most of Upstate New York is rather rural.


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