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.
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 11 Submit your own review
Reviewed by mg on 11/29/2012
thankyou fire resQ
Reviewed by SL on 9/10/2012
Some rough areas for sure, def go with hiking boots or trail shoes. Overall very nice area with alot of different terrain.
Reviewed by Maria on 7/31/2012
Nice trail. Was a bit confusing in spots. Lots of spots appearing to trail off into the woods without markings. Started the red trail from Coplon Road, looped around taking a few detours on blue and yellow trail sections. The way back had a very steady and long climb. My husband and I are athletic but new to hiking so the climb was tough. Definitely would do again though. The views were beautiful with several small step waterfalls along the stream. We didn't do the whole red trail, but ended up just shy of 5 miles. Ended up driving over to the Mariaville Rd entrance to do the short blue loop which was a mile round trip. I'd recommend this trail, just advise to wear hiking boots or trail sneakers and bring a lunch.
Reviewed by Paul on 10/10/2011
My 7 year old & I walked the red trail approximately 2 miles from Rt. 159 to a yellow trail which ended at a fantastic bend in a river where we had lunch. The total hike was 4.5 miles (3 hours) including a few short walks off trail to wandering creeks & the many waterfalls. For an inexperienced hiker, consider this moderate with the flat trails along the ridge punctuated by a few steep up & downs as you cross the creeks. If you can walk Hadley Mtn or Cascade, you can do this. I would recommend boots due to some mud. I've added some photos of the area http://bit.ly/n5tdb1
Reviewed by AzCm on 8/18/2011
Beautiful! Several waterfalls that are breathtaking. Be sure to bring a camera. Hiking boots are always a good investment. Research the location, there is an easier way to get there then what is described depending on the direction you are coming from.
Reviewed by JFD on 7/2/2011
Muddy in spots but nothing too bad. Recommend boots not chocos. 3.5 miles out 3.5 miles back - we did it in three hours so it is a good time - nice level of challenge not too difficult but a nice hike. It is a loop if you want to do that - check the map. I am 38 and in decent shape. If you can hit it in the spring you will get more action on the falls but might have some interesting crossings along the trail. In general highly recommended - even the dry-ish creek beds are cool looking like paved roads (because of the shale). Cool hike in general, do it if you havent yet. 3 hours will do the trick. Dry season (late summer-fall) might be even cooler than wet(spring) but I am not sure. Guessing spring is coolest. Worth a look either way
Reviewed by Rich on 4/29/2011
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Reviewed by Roberta on 1/2/2011
On New Year's day I began my hike at the Coplon Rd. entrance. Taking the red loop trail, I hiked out about 2 miles before I realized, after crossing the creek and seeing a sign for the Mariaville Rd. parking lot, I was not, in fact, on a loop trail. The narrow, well-marked trail consisted of wet snow over wet leaves and made for tricky footing. I applied a technique I learned as a child - in order to resist, dig in your heels for all you're worth. This came in handy when attempting to negotiate the downward sloping portions of the trail. I saw a pair of woodpeckers and enjoyed a quiet, if somewhat damp, hike. The winter calm was occasionally broken by gunshots heard in the distance.
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