I was so impressed with Moreau Lake State Park on my first mountain bike ride there a few weeks ago that I brought my family back to hike the very next weekend. Overshadowed by the limitless hiking opportunities in the nearby Adirondacks, Moreau Lake State Park would certainly be more widely regarded as a hiking destination if it was located elsewhere in the state. I'm almost embarassed to admit that despite living in Saratoga County for more than 20 years, I never bothered to explore Moreau Lake State Park's 4,000 + acres beyond the heavily used beach and campground area.
Our kids found plenty of rocks, wild flowers, water and amphibians to hold their interest on the way to the overlook. It seemed as if there wasn't more than a few seconds at a stretch where we didn't hear woodpeckers and songbirds.
The Hudson River lookout is spectacular. The river twists through a constriction in the mountains, hawks soar and kayakers paddle. Spier Falls dam can be seen a mile or so upstream, but other than that there is little sign of development. It's remarkable that such a landscape lies between Saratoga and Glens Falls, just 10 minutes off the Northway and 40 minutes north of Albany.
A quick look at the map below shows there's lots more than what we covered on our hike. I'd like to do an end-to-end hike or run on the Western Ridge trail, with its numerous overlooks. There's a 15K trail race coming up in early September that looks pretty interesting too. And in the not-too-distant future, a planned Palmertown Range Trail will connect MLSP's trail network all the way to Saratoga Springs, providing even more opportunities for hiking, running and mountain biking.
Trail map can also be viewed here.