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Plotter Kill Preserve

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gorge, spectacular waterfalls
Near:Schenectady, NY
Distance:3.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:500 ft
Hike Time:2 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: Plotter Kill Preserve is a nature preserve near Rotterdam, NY. The Plotter Kill, a tributary of the Mohawk River, flows through a very rugged gorge. The forest here contains a mix of hardwoods and confiers. There are three beautiful waterfalls. The Upper Falls is 60 feet; the Lower Falls and the Rynex Creek Falls are both 40 feet.

Start on the red trail near the kiosk. Take the side trail (blue) which will take you to lookouts over the Upper and Lower falls.

Continue on the red trail which crosses the Kill on a foot bridge. You will pass by the Upper and Lower falls. The trail goes down a switchback taking you to the top of the falls on the Rynex creek. Cross the creek here.

If you have ample time, you can follow the red trail to the end of the preserve near the Thruway. There is a cascading waterfall there. I opted to turn around shortly after crossing the power lines for this trip.

Trailhead: Take Interstate 90 (Thruway) to Exit 25A (Interstate 88). Take first exit ramp right after the toll booth. At the light, turn left onto NY Route 7 (East). After about 1/2 mile, turn left onto NY Rte 337 (North). Turn left at next light on NY Route 159 (West). Drive for 3.5 miles to parking area on the right - just past Coplon Rd.
(Lat:42.825 Lon:-74.052)

Trail Guides for Plotter Kill Preserve:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Schenectady County Planning Department (518) 386-2225
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by George Senft, who has posted  26 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 13   Submit your own review
Reviewed by BeckyG on 9/12/2015
I'm torn between loving this and hating it. I've hiked the trails twice, and got lost both times. The area is beautiful scenery wise, and I didn't find the trails especially difficult physically, but had a really hard time getting back to the Coplon trailhead from the red loop. this last trip (Labor Day 2015) while hiking with my 4yo daughter and dog, we were swarmed by honey bees, not once but twice. It was a terrifying ordeal, and really puts me off ever going back. I don't know if it was the weather, the season, or what but I left with ~20 stings and my daughter had 8-10. The first half of the red loop seemed well marked, but the signs indicating the way back to Coplon dead ended at the creek, where the bees got us the second time.

Reviewed by Suzanne on 8/26/2015
I love this hike, although I call this more of a creek stomp/wander then a hike. The creek is beautiful, great for looking under rocks, finding frogs and newts, and just cooling off. The 2 big falls are a plus. The trail from Coplon Road off of Rt 159, is not marked at all, but if you follow the well beaten path, and with a tiny bit of exploring, follow the creek AND trail to the falls. However in the last year, I've seen this place become trashed. Lots of trash litter the creek and trails, and its sad to see. Please if you do go there, Carry Out what you Carried In. Don't wreck this beautiful paradise! This isn't just a hike, wear water shoes to go into the creek, as you will have to cross it to follow the trail(beware of broken gla

Reviewed by Francis on 8/23/2015
We turned around without seeing the falls we were headed for due to about 20 gunshots in the woods. Disappointing that someone is so selfish as to be shooting on or near a public trail. The hike was otherwise enjoyable.

Reviewed by Laura on 7/15/2015
Poooorly Marked!, especially where forks in the paths occurred. Very unpleasant, sloppy walking terrain. Also, poorly maintained paths. Most of the time was unsure of where the "F" we were and I've had a lifetime of hiking experience. Green should not be listed as a trail, as it's the parks entire border. It's indicated as the long trail, which it turns out to be as you have many miles of road walking if you choose to follow the Long trail! No park maps to take along the trails. Thank God phones have GPS! Overall...don't bother. Head toward another region in New York for better hiking!!!

Reviewed by Cb on 5/12/2015

Reviewed by F on 5/6/2015
Error: Reserved Word Found: create

Reviewed by LLG on 4/20/2015
I love this Place! Maybe it's because I've been going there since I was a teenager that I've never gotten lost, or it could be that when we go we always leave the trail and explore. I've been bringing my kids here since they were little (in baby carriers) and to this day it's their favorite place to go hiking. The trails are beautiful...the waterfalls even more so. My favorite time to go is in the spring/summer (it's our Mother's day outing)when the water is flowing and the kids (now 14 &9) can play in the creek, and stand under the waterfalls. I also love to go in the winter (around mid-late Jan ) when the falls are do need to be extremely careful during the winter, but the sight of the waterfalls frozen is a must see!

Reviewed by Liz G on 8/27/2014
I'd love to hike it again - - I have been twice and easily lost both times. Trails are so poorly marked. Just tried to follow the red trail. . . very difficult! A real drawback for this preserve, which is otherwise, beautiful!

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: New York Hiking, New York Trails, New York Hikes, Schenectady County Hiking, Schenectady County Trails, Schenectady County Hikes

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