Located less than 20 miles southwest of Albany, New York, Thompson's Lake Campground is ideally located for an easy weekend getaway. Tucked away in Thacher State Park, this pet-friendly campground offers 144 wooded campsites, a sandy beach, and access to myriad recreational activities.
Surrounded by mountains, the campground sits just four miles from the Helderberg Escarpment on the shores of Thompson's Lake. The guarded swimming beach offers a calm spot for kids to swim, and there's a decent stretch of sand for those looking to catch some sun. Boating is a popular pastime on the lake, with canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards available to rent.
But there are plenty of other activities available that don't involve getting wet. The campground features volleyball courts, a playing field, horseshoe pits, swing sets, fishing areas, and picnic spots. The Emma Treadwell Thacher Center sits beside the lake and offers exhibits and interactive displays to entertain visitors of all ages.
For those keen to explore on foot, more than 15 miles of hiking trails wind throughout Thacher State Park. These link the campground to the main area of the park that runs along Helderberg Escarpment, where you'll not only find a new visitor center but spectacular mountain views.
The campground is set amongst hardwood and conifer forests, and sites feature their own picnic table and fire ring. There are no electric hookups available. While the campground is reasonably spacious and well-kept, the facilities can get a little busy during peak periods. It's also worth pointing out that the nearest store is at least a 20-minute drive away -- great if you like remote camping, but frustrating if you forget to pack something essential.
A vehicle entrance fee of $7 applies when the beach is open, while campsites range in price from $15 to $19 a night. There's also an additional fee of $5 per night for out-of-state campers, so make sure you factor this in when planning your trip.