Plotter Kill Preserve

Schenectady, NY
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Multiple trails ranging from 1(blue)-6 miles loop(red). Difficulty from easy-moderate. Beautiful streams, step falls and 2 tall waterfalls. Forest views. Great top rope ice climbing in January-Feb.

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.

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.

Schenectady County Planning Department (518) 386-2225

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4 Completed 1 Reviews

Definitely not marked well on many stretches. Pretty active tick population along the Southeast red trail starting from Coplon Rd til you get on the North side of the loop. You do run into the best parts when you get (lost) off the red trail (or sidetrack on a yellow). The falls are dry now, but would probably be great in the spring. Nice walk.

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5 Completed 5 Reviews

We went on this hike and the paths are not clearly marked. We ended up climbing up a dry waterfall bed to get out of where we found ourselves. Another set of hikers, a family with children about 10 years old were descending a precariously steep terrain as they too lost the trail and tried to get back to where they had come. Most of the hikers we ran into were lost. Otherwise, beautiful scenery and very enjoyable. Plenty of parking areas were available.

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8 Completed 6 Reviews

Not too bad but nothing special either. Not marked all that great. Did find a couple of tranquil spots to relax. If you mostly hike the paved trails in the city, this one will be tough at times. Lots of elevation change. AT&T cell worked most of the hike with 1-2 bars of service.

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10 Completed 6 Reviews

Need better maps.

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Marge Cohen

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5 Completed 3 Reviews

Didnt like this trail. Poorly marked and never did find any waterfalls :-(

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22 Completed 19 Reviews

One of my favorites. Local. Beautiful sights and waterfalls. Be careful, easy to get lost.

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52 Completed 73 Reviews

Different route today. Blue trail to the right at 159 parking lot to further overlook, back up to "official" falls overlook, down red past the falls, turning right along stream following yellow then a left on the yellow that links back to red and out. About 3.82m. Muddy. Very buggy. Falls are flowing strong.

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7 Completed 2 Reviews

This is one of my favorite trails and I've been hiking this preserve for many years. There are multiple waterfalls and varying levels of difficulty. Sometimes there are a lot of people here, and the parking lot on Mariaville Rd can get full. There is another parking lot, which I didn't know about for years, on Coplon Rd, which is off of Mariaville Rd not far from the main parking lot.

There are some Geocaches in this preserve, so you can make it a two-fer!

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52 Completed 73 Reviews

We hike this frequently since its so close to home. This hike took us from 159 past the falls to the stream which was somewhat impassable due to a week of heavy rains. We headed up the yellow trail then out towards the old farm which is unmarked. At the end of that trail was a field with some pretty nice views and a pond at the bottom of the hill. Came back down yellow which had turned into an all-mud trail and linked back to the main trail back to 159.

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52 Completed 73 Reviews

Hiked about a week ago. Came in from Lower Gregg Road and headed toward the falls. Very muddy. As usual, good hike, great workout!

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