Tomhannock Reservoir – Worth a Visit?

At first glance, the Tomhannock Reservoir in Rensselaer County, New York, seems like just another beautiful spot to go hiking and bird watching in one of the most beautiful parts of the northeast region. But dig deeper into its history, and you’ll find that it’s actually so much more than that.

This scenic 1720-acre body of water has everything you need to enjoy a weekend getaway or an extended stay with family and friends: beautiful scenery, hiking trails, swimming areas, fishing areas, and accommodations available right on the reservoir.

Whether you’re looking to go kayaking or biking, camping or swimming, there’s always something new to do at Tomhannock Reservoir.

History of Tomhanncok Reservoir

Tomhannock Reservoir is a man-made body of water in Rensselaer County, New York, created in 1906 as part of the Tomhannock Creek Hydroelectric Project.

After the Oakwood, Brunswick, and Lansingburgh Reservoirs were decommissioned, construction on the new reservoir began in 1900. With a 33-inch riveted steel main, the reservoir was put into use in 1906. An additional 30 inches cast iron main was erected to sustain the city’s water supply following eight years of maintenance to the old 33 inches main.

The reservoir is fed by the waters of the Hoosic River and its tributary, the Tomhannock Creek. It covers an area of 8.9 km and has a maximum depth of 50 feet.

Significance of the Reservoir

The Tomhannock reservoir is the centerpiece of the Tomhannock Creek Watershed. The reservoir provides drinking water for the City of Troy and is a popular recreation destination.

Tomhannock Reservoir is also an essential part of the local ecology. The reservoir is home to various plant and animal life, including several rare and endangered species. The reservoir is also a key stopover for migrating birds, providing a crucial source of food and shelter. Recognizing its importance, the Tomhannock Reservoir was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1974.

Today, the reservoir remains an essential part of the community and ecosystem of Pittstown, New York.

Layout – Parking, Fishing, Food, Wildlife & Camping


Tomhannock Reservoir is great for enjoying the outdoors and taking in the scenery. However, parking can be a challenge, especially on weekends. There are two main parking areas at the reservoir, both of which can get crowded. The first is the south lot, which is closest to the dam. This lot usually fills up quickly, so it’s best to arrive early if you want to park here.

The second lot is located on the north side of the reservoir, near the boat launch. This lot typically has more space available but can also fill up on busy days. If you’re planning to visit Tomhannock Reservoir, allow extra time for parking.


Tomhannock Reservoir is a hidden gem for anglers in Rensselaer County, New York.

The reservoir is home to a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, Fallfish, White Sucker, Bullhead, Chain Pickerel, Golden Shiner, Spottaill Shiner, Black Crappie, and more. The reservoir has an abundance of Walleye.

To enjoy fishing at Tomhannock reservoir, you need to have a fishing permit issued by the city clerk’s office. Each permit costs $10 for two years.

Ice Fishing is allowed from January to mid-March. There are also special regulations in place for bass fishing. These regulations help to ensure that the bass population remains healthy and thriving.

Tomhannock Reservoir is a great place to enjoy a day of fishing with family and friends. By following the rules and regulations, you can help to keep it that way. The reservoir is teeming with fish, so don’t forget your fishing gear!


Tomhannock Reservoir is an excellent place to camp if you’re looking for an authentic Adirondack experience. The reservoir is located in Rensselaer County, New York, surrounded by nearly 40,000 acres of pristine wilderness. There are few amenities at the campsite, so you’ll need to be self-sufficient.

However, this also means you’ll have the opportunity to truly disconnect from the outside world and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. You can also explore the many hiking trails in the area or simply relax by the water and take in the stunning views.

Whether you’re an experienced camper or a first-timer, Tomhannock Reservoir is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.


Surrounded by forest and farmland, the reservoir is a popular spot for fishing, hiking, and picnicking. And if you work up an appetite while enjoying the great outdoors, there are plenty of eateries nearby to refuel.

Sammy Cohen’s is a cozy spot serving home-cooked comfort food, while Bubble’s Restaurant offers flavorful chicken and Southern-style dishes. Richie’s Pizza has delicious Pizza and sandwiches to go for a quick bite.

So whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a satisfying feast, you’ll find what you’re hungering for near the Tomhannock Reservoir.

Wild Life

Tomhannock Reservoir is home to an abundance of wildlife and birds. The reservoir is a natural haven for many species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Some of the most common bird species that can be found at Tomhannock Reservoir include Brent Goose, Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, and Northern Cardinals.

The variety of wildlife and birds makes Tomhannock Reservoir a perfect destination for nature lovers and bird watchers alike.

Few Tips to Keep In Mind:

Tomhannock Reservoir is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rensselaer County. To make the most of your visit, there are a few things to remember.

  • First, be sure to pack appropriate clothing for the weather. The temperature can vary significantly between the daytime and nighttime hours, so it’s important to be prepared.
  • Second, Tomhannock Reservoir is home to a variety of wildlife, so be sure to follow all posted signs and avoid disturbing the natural habitat.
  • Finally, have fun! Tomhannock Reservoir is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Bottom Line – Is It Worth Visiting Tomhannock Reservoir?

Located just outside of Troy, the reservoir is home to various wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, and herons. The area is so rich with history and beauty that it is worth every second you spend there. Tomhannock Reservoir is definitely worth a visit!

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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