For terrific views of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys and the Adirondacks , head 18 miles west of Albany  to Thatcher State Park (Rte. 157 off Rte. 85, 518/872-1237, 8 a.m.–dusk, parking $6–8). Here you’ll also find the unusual Indian Ladder Geologic Trail, a half-mile-long ledge that is one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world. The park is open daily year-round, but the geologic trail is only open May–November, weather permitting.