The Taconic range forms the border between New England and New York's Hudson Valley. About 150 miles long, the it runs parallel to the Hudson River, 20-30 miles from its eastern banks. It is the traditional territory of the Mohican tribe.
Its southern reaches are low jumbled ridges and hills that merge into the NY/NJ Highlands. The Appalahian Trail travels through here. Heading north, the first large expanse of public land and destination-worthy hiking is the Southern Taconic Range at the corner of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. In Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, the Taconic Crest Trail travels the main ridge for 37 miles, at elevations of 2000-3000 feet. Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts, is considered part of the Taconics in a strict geological sense, although more commonly associated with the Berkshires.
In Vermont, the range really comes into its own. Home to two of New England's Hundred Highest peaks, Mount Equinox and Dorset Mountain, it is dramatically separated from the Green Mountains by the steep walls of the Valley of Vermont. Its highest elevation is Mount Equinox's summet at 3840 feet.
The bedrock of these mountains consists of sediments, from the continental slope and rise of the ancient Iapetus Ocean, that have undergone low-grade metamorphism. They were uplifted to their present position along great thrust faults. They must have travelled a considerable distance because in many places they now rest on top of younger sedimentary rocks of the Hudson Valley - an unusual stacking order.
The forest cover ranges from oaks and hickories at the southern reaches, to a vast extent of northern hardwoods, to small areas of boreal forest at high elevations in Massachusetts and Vermont.
Located in a farily well-populated part of the country, the Taconic Mountains have many means of access. They even have their own highway: The Taconic Parkway parallels them somewhat to the west, connecting the mountains as far north as Massachusetts with New York City. It is the brainchild of none other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who intended it as a scenic route through his native Dutchess County, NY.
In Massachusetts, state route 2 provides access to Mount Greylock and intersects with the Taconic Crest trail at a fairly high elevation pass near the New York border.
In Vermont, federal route 7 passes through the Valley of Vermont, very near these mountains.
A considerable portion of the Taconics is on private land, especially in the agrarian/exurban southern portion.
Numerous Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York State Parks and Forests offer camping opportunities. In Vermont, the range is mostly located in the Green Mountain National Forest, though private inholdings exist.