Plotter Kill Preserve

Schenectady, NY

Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started

Upgrade to Pro

Unlimited access to National Geographic TOPO! & Trails Illustrated Maps

Learn More »

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

Person_placeholder


N/A:

1 Completed 1 Reviews

Fun hike but not marked well along with where it is marked it can be confusing. I could see four or five markers in one spot in all different directions on both sides of the stream.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

6 Completed 6 Reviews

I live about ten miles from here and have been frequenting it forever. Great water falls. Wonderful views in autumn (i recommend the yellow trail that time of year). All i have to say to people who say the trails aren't marked well and they get lost is if you can't identify a path from other terrain you shouldn't be hiking.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

2 Completed 1 Reviews

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

1 Completed 1 Reviews

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 is 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. Bring bug spray. The area is wonderful and I would recommend this hike to others. Enjoy!

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

26 Completed 14 Reviews

Very shaded. Mostly all in woods so wear bug spray. Waterfalls are very nice if they are flowing :)

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

31 Completed 26 Reviews

Super muddy during the early spring. We got lost twice. Had to take a shortcut back by climbing down tree roots and up waterfalls :/ to make it back by sundown

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

5 Completed 3 Reviews

Had a lot of fun meandering through the valley, although the trails are not marked well because of flood damage but as long as you follow the creek you can find the falls. Fun hike but not very challenging.

Icon_


N/A:

9 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.

Icon_


N/A:

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.

Icon_


N/A:

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.

Support