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8 Best Things to Do in Copake NY

Are you looking for fun and exciting things to do in Copake, NY? Look no further! Copake has so much to offer that you’ll find something to entertain your whole family. From the serene beauty of Bear Mountain and Monument Mountain to historic sites like the United States Military Academy, Olana State Historic Site, and Naumkeag, there is something for everyone. If you’re a fan of art, check out the Norman Rockwell Museum. For a unique experience, visit Bash Bish Falls or Hillrock Estate Distillery. No matter what type of adventure you’re looking for, Copake has it all!

Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain is an excellent place for adventure and exploration in the middle of the Catskill Mountains. With its breathtaking views, numerous trails for hiking and biking, swimming in Hessian Lake, and camping in its various spots, Bear Mountain offers plenty of activities for all types of visitors.

The mountain’s peak is 1,283 feet above sea level and provides fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. The summit can be reached by taking a moderate 1.5-mile hike up to Perkins Memorial Drive or the more strenuous trail known as the Major Welch Trail, which is 3.3 miles roundtrip. Along either route, you will find beautiful scenery and wildlife like deer and wild turkeys. The trail also passes five small waterfalls that make it even more scenic.

At the summit, picnic tables, restrooms (open during summer months), a playground area for children, and even an old fire tower where you can take in some fantastic views of the Hudson Valley below. On a clear day, you can see New York City!

If swimming is your thing, head to Hessian Lake, where beaches are perfect for relaxing on hot summer days or cooling off after a long hike up Bear Mountain. Lifeguards are on duty from early June through Labor Day, so you can enjoy swimming safely in this picturesque lake.

For those looking to spend more than just one day at Bear Mountain, then consider camping at one of its three campgrounds – Camp Smith, Doodletown, or Silvermine Lake Campground – where visitors can enjoy fishing, boating with non-motorized boats only, outdoor recreation programs and even special events throughout the year like live music performances and night hikes! Bear Mountain should definitely be included on your list no matter what outdoor activity you want while visiting Copake, NY!

United States Military Academy

The United States Military Academy in Copake, New York, is a must-see for anyone interested in military history or architecture. This 1802 fort is the oldest in the country and boasts impressive cannons, artillery, and monuments display.

Visitors can tour the grounds, showcasing the iconic “Old Cadet Chapel,” with stained glass windows, barracks, parade grounds, and a cemetery. The peaceful nature of the area belies its long history of battles fought here during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can also explore the nearby West Point Museum to learn more about this vital site’s role in America’s military history.

A special treat for fans of historical architecture is the iconic Gothic Revival buildings on post. These structures were designed by prominent architect Charles Bulfinch for West Point’s first superintendent Sylvanus Thayer and have been lovingly preserved over time, providing visitors with an awe-inspiring look at early 19th-century American design.

Other highlights include views from Trophy Point overlooking the Hudson River Valley and Constitution Island, where visitors can explore Fort Putnam, part of George Washington’s 1778 network of defense fortifications along the Hudson River during the American Revolution.

Whether you want to learn more about one of America’s most important historical sites or enjoy a day out taking in picturesque views and immersing yourself in centuries-old architecture, visiting Copake’s United States Military Academy will be a memorable experience.

Norman Rockwell Museum

Visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum in Copake, New York, is a must for any fan of his remarkable artwork. Located in the historic village of Stockbridge, MA, the museum holds an extensive collection of Rockwell’s work across most of his career.

The museum offers guided tours and talks from knowledgeable guides who will bring the stories within each painting to life and provide insight into Rockwell’s creative process. Here you can explore a range of artwork, including iconic pieces like “Girl at Mirror,” featured on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1954, and “Willie Gillis: Package from Home,” which appeared on seven different magazine covers between 1941 and 1945.

In addition to these pieces, visitors can also view some original works that have not been seen since they were first published over 75 years ago. An interactive timeline allows guests to explore Rockwell’s life and career while gaining insight into what inspired him.

The museum also features special exhibitions showcasing his works alongside those of other artists, revealing how he has influenced generations of artisans worldwide. With various activities available for all ages and skill levels, it is easy to see why the Norman Rockwell Museum is one of Copake’s premier attractions.

Olana State Historic Site

Olana State Historic Site is a grand mansion and former home of renowned Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church. Located in the town of Greenport in Columbia County, NY, Olana was built between 1870 and 1872. The 250-acre estate offers stunning views of the Hudson River Valley, and the house is filled with paintings, furniture, and decorative objects that belonged to Church and his wife, Isabel.

In addition to exploring the house, visitors can follow trails around the property for a closer look at its landscapes; participate in activities such as guided tours, workshops, or art classes; or have a picnic on the grounds. Olana also hosts events throughout the year, like outdoor concerts, art exhibitions, lectures, and more. The site has become an important destination for art lovers and nature enthusiasts.

Bash Bish Falls

Bash Bish Falls is a fantastic destination for those who love outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and fishing. Located in the Taconic Mountains of Copake, NY, the falls are the highest single-drop waterfall in Massachusetts and are considered one of New England’s most beautiful.

The best way to reach Bash Bish Falls is through South Taconic Trail, a moderate 3.3-mile hike from Copake Falls. Several scenic vistas along the trail offer majestic views of Bash Bish Falls and its surroundings. The trail is known for its rocky terrain and dense forest cover, so wear proper shoes!

Once you reach Bash Bish falls, you will surely be mesmerized by its beauty as it cascades over a sixty-foot cliff into a deep pool below, which allows for swimming on hot days. It’s also possible to kayak downriver from here since the falls create an excellent current for experienced kayakers. If you’re looking for something less intense, countless small streams around Bash Bish provide perfect spots for fishing and relaxing by the water.

For photographers looking to capture some unique shots, Bash Bish Falls offers plenty of opportunities with its picturesque landscape. Whether you’re looking to take pictures up close or from afar, you’ll find plenty of settings to make your photos stand out!

Monument Mountain

Monument Mountain is one of the most iconic and beloved natural landmarks in Copake, New York. Located on the summit of Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts, Monument Mountain is a popular spot for hikers, nature lovers, and sightseers alike. The mountain offers spectacular views across the Taconic Valley and beyond Vermont, New York, and Connecticut.

The Monument Trail begins at Notchview Road off Route 7 in Massachusetts and follows an old logging road to the summit of Monument Mountain. You will find lush forests, fields filled with wildflowers, and breathtaking vistas along the way. The conference offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including Monument Valley and Bash Bish Falls.

At 1,853 feet above sea level, Monument Mountain is an excellent destination for those looking for a challenging hike or a peaceful outdoor day. In addition to hiking trails and scenic overlooks, visitors can explore several historical sites at or near the mountain’s summit. These include two Revolutionary War monuments and the remains of an old ski chairlift from when Monument Mountain was home to a small ski resort.

Numerous trails wind through Monument Mountain State Reservation for visitors who want to explore further. These trails offer easy access to stunning waterfalls like Bash Bish Falls and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. There are also several picnic areas throughout the reservation where visitors can take a break from their adventures and enjoy a meal with family or friends while admiring beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Hillrock Estate Distillery

Nestled in the rolling hills of Columbia County, Hillrock Estate Distillery offers a unique experience in the beautiful town of Copake. This small-batch distillery produces an array of spirits, including single-malt whiskey, rye whiskey, and bourbon. All of their whiskeys are made with 100% locally grown grains, giving them a distinct flavor.

At Hillrock Estate Distillery, visitors can take a tour led by expert distillers to learn about their process and its history. They will demonstrate how they grind their grains on site, mash, and ferment them into “beer” before transferring them to copper stills for distillation. Then, finally, they age the spirits in hand-selected barrels seasoned with charred oak chips from local trees for flavor. After the tour, you can sample some of their products at the tasting bar or purchase a bottle in the store.

For those looking to make a day out of their visit to Hillrock Estate Distillery, plenty of activities are available such as barrel rolling competitions and outdoor games on the expansive grounds surrounding the facility. They also offer evening events like cocktail classes and live music events throughout the year, so be sure to check out what’s happening during your visit! Whether you’re looking for a unique experience or want to try some fantastic drinks made from local ingredients, Hillrock Estate Distillery has something for everyone!


Naumkeag is an enchanting estate located in Copake, NY. It was once the summer retreat of Joseph Choate and his family, who were prominent New York City lawyers. The estate comprises a sprawling Italianate-style mansion, beautiful gardens, and a stunning view of the Berkshires Mountains.

The charming residence was designed by Stanford White and features breathtaking architectural details such as sculpted woodwork, stucco walls, and colorful mosaic tile floors. Inside the house, you’ll find an eclectic mix of antique furniture and artworks collected by the Choates throughout their lives. Several exhibits illustrate the family’s life in Copake during their summer visits.

The grounds surrounding Naumkeag are just as impressive as the house itself. Visitors can stroll through meandering pathways leading to various terraces and lawns featuring seasonal flowers and plants. The garden also includes rare specimens worldwide, including Japanese maples, Chinese wisteria, magnolias, dogwoods, azaleas, and rhododendrons.

One of the most notable attractions at Naumkeag is its “Blue Steps” – a series of tiered gardens built into a steep slope on the property. Here you’ll find an assortment of vibrant flowers arranged in intricate patterns along winding paths that make for a breathtaking sight in any season.

If you’re looking for something unique to do while visiting Copake, NY, consider taking a trip to Naumkeag – it’s sure to be a memorable experience!


To conclude, Copake, NY, is a great destination to explore and enjoy. From exploring the historical sites of the United States Military Academy to admiring the artwork of Norman Rockwell at the museum, there is something for everyone in this beautiful town. Those looking for outdoor adventure can hike up Bear Mountain or Monument Mountain or explore Bash Bish Falls and Olana State Historic Site. And those seeking an escape from reality can visit Hillrock Estate Distillery and Naumkeag for a day of relaxation. With so much to do, Copake, NY, is worth visiting!

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