Pristine View: Thacher Park and the Helderberg Escarpment | Pristine Vodka

Pristine View: Thacher Park and the Helderberg Escarpment

pristine view

A Pristine View in Upstate New York

We choose to call our Vodka Pristine because the word is what best describes it. Pristine evokes a feeling of satisfaction, awe, and the appreciation of ancient and natural beauty. In celebration of this, we present to you our choice for the most Pristine View: New York’s Thacher Park and the Helderberg Escarpment.


adj. | pris·tine |  \ ˈpri-ˌstēn , pri-ˈstēn


Belonging to the earliest period or state: ORIGINAL

1          a. Not spoiled, corrupted, or polluted (as by civilization): PURE

2          b. fresh and clean as or as if new


Original Occupants

I am fortunate to live so nearby to an area that is as rich in natural beauty as the Helderberg Escarpment. The views from the Overlook at Thacher State Park are unparalleled. On a clear day, one can see clear across to Vermont’s Green Mountains: a distance of nearly 60 miles. And in between, farmlands, the Albany skyline, lush fields, forests, and wetlands. It is truly, the very definition of a Pristine view.

thacher state park

There is nearly always a pleasant breeze here at the Overlook. Grab a bite at the surprisingly good concession stand (run by Garden Bistro 24), and just take it all in…


pure vodka view

The highlight of Thacher Park is definitely the Indian Ladder trail. Descend a steep metal stair case and walk along the cliffs edge along the escarpment. Along the exposed cliffs, you’ll find that in addition to the stunning view of the valley below, you can look back inancient history pristine time. The strata of the cliffs is mostly limestone, and littered with fossils from deep in the past. Nearly 100 million years are etched into the rock here, and even a casual observer might see fossils from three distinct epochs, Devonian, Silurian, and Ordovician. Because this land was near the edge of a great prehistoric ocean, it is a haven of fossilized pre-historic plants and marine creatures. It’s fascinating to behold. 

The area boasts a strong link to colonial history as well. The many caves served as refuge to loyalists during the American Revolution. The trail itself was first utilized by the Native Americans in this area as a path to a trading post run by Henry Hudson. You can learn more about the history, ancient and otherwise, at the brand new Visitor’s Center.

pristine original

Modern Adventure Awaits

Your trip to Thacher State Park gives more than ancient history and spectacular views. There are also many opportunities for recreation. Hiking, biking, and rock climbing are popular activities among the visitors to this park. There is also a nature center, guided tours, picnic and BBQ areas, geocaching, playgrounds, leaf peeping, bird watching, and an adventure course with zip-lining and an aerial obstacle course. It is next to impossible to come here and be bored!

Plan Your Visit to this Pristine View

The park is open for day use all year, though some trails, activities, and picnic shelters are seasonal. Parking is $6. 

As the park is situated several miles from any major highway, it’s best, in our opinion, to use GPS to get there. Once in the park, look for the Overlook parking area, and start there. You won’t be disappointed.

thacher state park view

Pristine Vodka is Proud to be the very definition of pure, all-natural, and premium vodka. We’ll keep sharing what makes our world Pristine with you here on our blog!