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 Fritz on 10/28/2013
We hiked the blue, the red, the yellow and even the orange(someone bought the wrong color?). Easy to lose your way even though the trails are well marked. Not a good trail for small children or anyone without footwear with traction and good balance. That said, this is a great place to go exploring with or without water running over the falls. In the spring or after rain, definitely use footwear that can get wet for exploring and crossing the creek at various points. Dolls eye berries(watch those small children again), poison ivy and interesting non-toxic vegetation throughout. Allow three hours to fully explore the area and it's dramatic terrain, features and getting lost (especially with leaves on the ground).
Reviewed by chris owen on 9/30/2013
we took the blue trail identified as easy. it made me sad that people in the Schenectady area would consider this a well maintained trail. there are tree roots bulging everywhere makes it a PIA to walk/hike this path. I've been hiking about 30 yrs, what Schenectady people tolerate from their parks... but we met some really nice people and a few walking their dogs off leash. I can't blame them, it's too darn hard for pet and owner to navigate easily. So far, Vrooman's nose a favorite. Wouldn't hike this again - the challenge is in the way the path is maintained.
Reviewed by 3DC on 9/22/2013
Beautiful waterfalls, without water. Cool rock formations. Bring boots for adventuring.
Reviewed by AR on 7/6/2013
Recently have been here twice because we love it so much!! It is a challenging hike, but an amazing one at that
Reviewed by edb on 6/18/2013
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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.
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