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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 12   Submit your own review
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!

Reviewed by AS on 8/11/2014
My husband and I went hiking there for the second time, and got lost both times. The trails are so poorly marked, and the printable map is useless. A good thing we met other hikers who helped us find our way back to the 159 parking area. There is one sign about 1.5 from the parking area, which made us realize we were walking the wrong way for that long.Please Schenectady County, mark the trails better and put more signs leading towards the exits. It is a great hike, but until they mark it better we will not return.

Reviewed by Alex on 7/8/2014
Moderate hike with three waterfalls. Trail begins at parking lot off of highway 159. Segment of trail from parking lot to all three waterfalls is clearly marked and approximately 2 miles round trip. We decided to hike a bit more of the red trail which was not marked very well nor was it maintained well. I am glad that I took a picture of the map before heading off as it was easy to get lost at times. The trails have names according to random signs that are few and far between along the trail but according to the map at the trail head the trails are just labeled red, blue and yellow. We decided to take a dip in the pool of one of the falls. Water was cold but very refreshing after the hike. The area is wonderful and I would recommend. ENJOY

Reviewed by TC on 6/22/2014
Beautiful Area but trails are not marked very well.

Reviewed by Viewer on 6/7/2014
We live on lower Gregg rd where on can enter trail preserve on this side.We do not appreciate the trash they leave in small parking lot and also when the parking lot is full parking on our very narrow, no shoulder road and parking on both sides of road making it hard for emergency vehicle and tax paying homeowners to travel up and down. We only have one way out as it a dead end road. RESPECT OUR ARER. GREGG Road homeowners

Reviewed by Viewer on 5/26/2014
We live on lower Gregg rd near entrance to preserve and don't appreciate your parking on both sides of our narrow no shoulder country rd and also don't appreciate your speeding. Have respect for us taxpaying homeowner who are paying for your enjoyment.

Reviewed by B on 5/6/2014
Error: Reserved Word Found:
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).

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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