Waterfalls on the Indian Ladder Trail

by Sandra Foyt on June 18, 2013

in Outdoors with Kids, Travel Photos

There’s one good thing about rainy days–waterfalls. New York has many waterfalls, including the spectacular ones found at Niagara Falls. But in New York’s Capital Region, we’re lucky to have the impressive waterfalls of the historic Indian Ladder Trail in Thatcher Park.

Thatcher Park Scenic Overlook

What a scenic overlook!

On a clear day you can see Vermont’s Green Mountains from the Heldeberg Escarpment overlook at the parking lot just past Glen Doone picnic area in John Boyd Thatcher State Park. Forgot to pack a picnic? No worries.  A cash-only concession at the overlook sells hot dogs, hamburgers, and cheesy fries. Open daily, 11am-7pm. We quickly bypassed both view and food stand in search of the fabled Indian Ladder trail.

Indian Ladder Trail stairs

Finding the Indian Ladder Trail

The 3.5 mile Indian Ladder trail hike is easy, along a level course; but to get to the trail, you have to climb down steep and slippery metal stairs.

This is immediately followed by stooping under a low-handing rock tunnel. Short people have the advantage here. But I didn’t mind. Not when the payoff was the glorious Minelot Falls cascading over limestone cliffs.

Minelot Falls | Indian Ladder Trail | Thatcher Park

Seeing the water falling over the natural shelter, it’s easy to imagine Mohawk Iroquois taking refuge 400 years ago. And to understand why this is a fitting terminus to the Long Path trail that stretches from the George Washington Bridge in New York City, ending at Thacher Park, a distance of 347.35 miles.

Indian Ladder trail waterfall

Find It!

Indian Ladder Trail
John Boyd Thatcher State Park 
1 Hailes Cave Road
Vorheesville, NY  12186
518-772- 1237
See NYS Park website for more information, including Geocache program.

Want to find more hiking spots? Check out our list of family friendly hikes in New York.

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Franca June 20, 2013 at 6:28 am

I’ve never heard of the Indian Ladder Trail before and I don’t know why considering it looks simply stunning. Thanks for bringing its existence to my attention, it’s something that I wouldn’t mind seeing if I ever make it to NY.
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