The town of Copake was formed in 1824 by splitting it from the town of Granger that was renamed Taghkanic. The town derives its name from a lake, which was known to the natives as Cook-pake, or Ack-kook-peek, meaning “Snake Pond.”
The largest water body is Copake Lake touching the western border of the town, but several other lakes and ponds occupy the central and southwestern parts of the town. The Roeliif Jansen Kill flows through the center of the town, and Taghkanic Creek crosses the northwest corner; both waterways lead west to the Hudson River.
Copake is on the eastern border of the Columbia County, and was part of the 1686 Taconic Grant to Robert Livingston, which turned out to be 160,000 acres, and he established he established the English-style Livingston Manor.