Plotter Kill Preserve Trail

EASY
#2 of 4 trails in John Boyd Thacher State Park
Plotter Kill Preserve Trail is a 5.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Schenectady, NY that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.4 miles 820 feet Loop
dog friendly hiking walking waterfall muddy
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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.

barbara krowicki
1 day ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

the most beautiful hike we've ever taken. the sights are breathtaking. We started on the blue trail, then orange then made the entire loop with the red. Tough 6.2 miles but we would totally do it again. trails are well marked was with someone who downloaded the map from here and we had no problems. sometimes we were so high up it was kind of scary to look down but would totally make this trip again. A beautiful example of how pretty upstate New York really is!

Jillian Johnson
4 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

It was by far one of the worst hikes I have ever been on!!!! I've been hiking in a lot of beautiful areas but I will never be coming back here! The waterfalls look way better in the pictures and the whole place is slippery and gross! We also came across a dead deer carcass right in the middle of the waterfalls! I don't know how people can actually like this hike, it was a complete waste of time!

Faith Cuilla
5 days ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

We had an awesome time. Lots of mud along the red trail. We eat lunch at the waterfall and enjoys the beauty around us. I only with that people would take out their trash with them and not leave it behind! Great hike will do agin come summer.

Nick Luppino
5 days ago

17 Completed5 Reviews

Antonella M.
8 days ago

Shit Hawk
11 days ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

almost claimed me but it was friggin awesome

Julie W.
12 days ago

Trail was really muddy. If you have a dog, bring towels to clean off before getting into car (lesson learned the hard way!).

Loved this trail. Had a bit of red marker confusion by creek but fine along rim trails. Definitely some good exercise.

Antonella M.
12 days ago

Carla Dee
12 days ago

4 Completed3 Reviews

Muddy as hell but definitely my favorite trail!

Nicole Carvalho
19 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

We hiked the red trail this weekend and aside from the mud it was great! We were definitely glad we had our hiking boots as much of the trail was flooded. The red trail can be confusing if you don't pay attention and I definitely wouldn't call it easy, almost an 8 mile loop, so keep those things in mind when hitting this trail. Overall I would say a moderate trail with some great waterfalls early on so if you're not a up for an 8 mile trek you can get some instant gratification and be on your way. We will definitely be back to explore the blue and yellow trails in the future.

Marissa S
24 days ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

The red trail was confusingly marked and easily lost, but overall beautiful. Would definitely revisit. Great landscape of fields, falls, and forest!

DJ Whitman
29 days ago

1 Completed2 Reviews

We took the red trail. The trail had a couple of waterfalls and my family enjoyed it. It was a little confusing at times with the different color trail markings and how the color markings overlapped at times.

DJ Whitman
29 days ago

1 Completed2 Reviews

Cruz Ding
29 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Joanna Whitman
29 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Joanne Hook
29 days ago

4 Completed4 Reviews

it would have been a perfect trail if it had been marked better. we were taking the red trail around which would have brought us back to where we started but 3/4 of the way through the trail had signs that we couldn't continue due to some type of issue. Back tracking we lost the trail and ended up on a trail that didn't exist on the map (once we were able to pull it up on our phones later). That trail had us climbing up a steep bank just about on our hands and knees. we finally did make it back to our cars but not before having our hiking books sacked off our feet by deep wet clay. Next time we'll print out a map before we go so it will hopefully be better.

Jess R.
1 month ago

the kids love it!!!

Eric Xu
1 month ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Danielle Gaudio
1 month ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Courtney Whitney
2 months ago

12 Completed3 Reviews

My fiancé and our dog hiked today it was great. The trails are marked awesome we followed the red markers and ended up doing 7 miles. It was a little muddy but expected this time of year but would go back again !