Not to be confused with Lake Taghkanic State Park , the much larger Taconic State Park (253 Rte. 344, off Rte. 22, Copake Falls, 518/329-3993, 8 a.m.–sunset daily, parking $8 May–Sept.) is another lovely preserve. It’s on the New York–Massachusetts border amid the Taconic Mountains, a small range that extends northward into Vermont. In the 5,000-acre park are two separate recreation areas—Rudd Pond and Copake Falls —featuring hiking trails, bathing beaches, 112 campsites, boat rentals, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
The park’s greatest attraction is Bash-Bish Glen, where Bash-Bish Brook cascades down a striking series of waterfalls. A craggy outcropping known as Eagle Cliff stands at the top of the cataract; local legend has it that several Indians once fell to their deaths over its edge. Among them was a woman named Bash Bish, after whom the brook was named. Her spirit is said to still inhabit the area. Also nearby is an ice-cold, 40-foot-deep quarry pool.
The camping facilities are open May–October; for reservations, call 800/456-CAMP.