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Thacher Park enhancements plan finalized

Rock climbing, caving, mountain biking and more trails pitched for park

An overlook of John Boyd Thacher State Park in May 2013.

An overlook of John Boyd Thacher State Park in May 2013. Photo by John Purcell.

— A series of improvements are being planned for John Boyd Thacher State Park and Thompson’s Lake Park.

The two parks will be merged into one, according to the master plan that was released on Tuesday, Nov. 19. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the master plan, which was designed by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation with input from residents in the surrounding Albany County communities of Berne, Knox and New Scotland, as well as several organizations.

Capital improvements and operational enhancements will occur during the next 10 to 15 years. The exact timing of or possibility for proposed improvements isn’t clearly defined because it hinges on several factors including availability of funds. Overall, the projects are expected to “cost tens of millions of dollars,” according to the master plan.

“Thacher State Park is one of the Capital District’s most popular destinations for mountain biking, trail running and cross-country skiing for outdoor adventure and exploration,” said Cuomo in a statement. “The state is putting forward a plan to make this great park even better by creating adding more hiking trails, creating a new mountain bike park and much more.”

Thacher Park Manager Chris Fallon said he is “truly excited” to implement the proposed enhancements, which are also timed rather well.

“As we approach the 100th anniversary of the park in 2014, what better time than to adopt a plan that will guide the park into a bright, new future?” Fallon said in a statement.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harve thanked Cuomo for providing resources to revitalize the parks “in a way that we haven’t seen in generations.”

“The master plan recommends new facilities and new partnerships to build on the park’s tradition of outdoor recreation, encourage healthy physical activity and open the park to more diverse activities such as rock-climbing and caving,” Harve said in a statement.

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Thacher Park Final Master Plan by jpurcell 4 months, 1 week ago

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