Cherry Plain State Park Professional Review and Guide
"Located in rural Rensselaer County and surrounded by more than 4,000 acres of the Capital District Wildlife Management Area, Cherry Plain State Park feels worlds away from Albany or even Pittsfield across the border in Massachusetts. Scattered around Black River Pond amidst eastern hemlock, yellow birch, and thick clusters of ferns, the campsites here have a remote feel that is somewhat unexpected with the state capitol just a half hour’s drive away. When the Civilian Conservation Corps dammed the Black River in the 1930s, the pond was intended to be part of a game refuge. Today, sites around the pond afford campers plenty of space, although the comfort station has begun to show its age and the only shower facilities are a single stall each for men and women in the bathhouse by the swimming area. Firewood and ice are available for purchase during camping season. A few short hiking trails lead to a small cascade and an old charcoal kiln, a remnant from the nineteenth century when the Rensselaer Plateau was stripped of more than two-thirds of its trees to feed fuel-hungry iron foundries in the city of Troy. Recent conservation efforts mean that the plateau’s large sections of unbroken boreal forest are once again home to fisher, bobcat, bear, moose, porcupine, and hermit thrush."