Great Flats Nature Trail is a 1.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Schenectady, New York that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 16 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

cross country skiing


nature trips


trail running


bird watching





wild flowers



Bring your binoculars and watch closely for birds, amphibians, and little animals as you circle this remarkable preserve. From the trailhead, a well-defined path is followed through woodland displaying a variety of plants and trees. The wooded area eventually gives way to wetlands and a small lake. Here the path becomes a boardwalk round the lake.

19 days ago

Excellent well marked local trail. It was not much more than a flat walk, which was perfect! Ground was a little soggy and lots of mosquitos. Totally recommend!

1 month ago

Great hike for beginners. A lot of shaded areas kept it cooler in the heat. First half of the trail of the trail is well groomed and wheelchair friendly. Second half is a more of a footpath and muddier.

bridge out
2 months ago

3 months ago

Took a walk here with my puppy, trails were groomed very well, but there was a point during the trail where it was completely underwater. It was towards the end of the loop so you either had to go all the way back around or get your feet a little wet.

3 months ago

Went here today.. loved the views in the marsh and the bridges, but at one point the trail was completely flooded! We had to turn around after almost making it to the end, almost doubling our trip.

4 months ago

A little wet and muddy today, but that's to be expected this time of the year (April). Even during the summer, this can be wet in spots, it is marshland, so you've got to expect that a little. There are about four or five boardwalks going over sections of the marsh, and that adds a little interest to the trail. In some of the reviews, people mention how the trails get overgrown, and they do, during the summer, but I consider that part of the allure of the place. I posted a few older pics that I had where you can see how it gets overgrown. Obviously, this time of the year, everything is pretty much dead. We've been here numerous times, so I guess we would say that it's a nice little trail. It's just down the road from the Via|Port Rotterdam Mall, which has the VIA aquarium in it. If you bring the kids, you can go for a walk and then go check out fish at the aquarium.

9 months ago

I just walked this trail for the first time. It's late Oct. and seasonal. This is a great little forest walk and excellent for what it is; a marshy trail nestled between a residential neighborhood and a highway. The ambient noise of the highway was not terribly distracting and a train whistle in the distance was charming. The 1mi loop is about half a mile in from the parking are (accessed by a broad, grassy lane) and punctuated by somewhat questionable boardwalks over marshland. If I'd had younger children with me I'd have turned back until I walked it first. Now, though, I'd take my 8 yr old, but not my younger nephew. I recommend water resistant footwear. My sneakers left my feet a bit damp. O also will avoid the area during biting insect season without a face net and tons of spray; it IS a full marsh. I'll definitely be back and next time with my dog :)

10 months ago

I just got back from walking this trail. I am LOADED with mosquito bites. The boardwalks are crumbling and missing planks. I turned back about 3/4 of a mile in because it was too overgrown and I was sure i would expose myself to ticks. The place needs some TLC. It is a pleasant enough setting.

11 months ago

Pretty cool little hike. Always figured it would be a waste of time, but I’ll def come back. Some good bird activity if you’re patient and have binoculars. Once you hit the bridges, the trail isn’t very well maintained, so I could see it being messy/ buggy but it was fine today (Sept 20th). Easy, quick, enjoyable, great for after work!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

PROS: Easy to walk Pretty nature to see and hear Easy to follow Close to home for an easy nature walk CONS: buggy Mud and water in some spots on the path no variety of wildlife didn’t see much Can hear cars/traffic in background

Saturday, March 31, 2018

nice day to take a hike with the dog. easy trail to walk. the longer route of this trail is just under 2 miles I believe. clearly marked if you stay on the trail and I believe it has distance markers posted here and there. there are a few bridges here and there which crossover some streams or creeks. took the long route which looped around the left and then eventually rejoined to the first two-way bridge and then back out to the parking lot. Trail condition today is very good, just saw one down tree which you only have to step over to continue on. basically pretty much level all the way through is trail. saw some people out today and mercury made a few friends to. nice day, good exercise!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wanted to like this nature walk but so to many garter snakes to be comfortable. Grass seemed too high as well.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

good jog areas

Friday, September 29, 2017

I love the trail. Very peaceful. Unfortunately it has gotten overgrown.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I run on this trail sometimes, short and sweet.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trails were very overgrown. Even on the bridges/man made paths, you were getting hit and pricked by all sorts of vegetation. Was extremely concerned about ticks as your constantly in thigh high grass but luckily nothing this time around. Proceed with caution

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Driveway in is rough, some pretty big potholes. The long trail starts out great but gets increasingly more overgrown as you go along. At one point it was like just walking through a big overgrown field next to a swamp. Tons of mosquitoes.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

short trail, pretty well-maintained at first, THEN tons of overgrowth! lots of frogs and birds.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Great trail just to take a walk in the woods. You can hear the traffic from I-890 and Campbell Road. But when you just want to get away for a little bit not bad. You may want to have bug spray. Driveway getting in is rough

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My first trail hike and it was ok. A few muddy spots and some areas were wet to pass through. Wasn't anything challenging just normal and relaxing enjoying time outside.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

This was boring. Sadly, over grown. There is a split where if you go to your left it brings you to a road and they have a small fence close off for it, but no clear signage directing you to the right to stay on the path. My 4 year old son and I go hiking and this was extremely buggy mostly mosquitos. Quite bothersome. We only got part way on the trail and,were bored. Not sure if there was any scenery to be seen, but if there was unfortunately or maybe fortunately we did not get far enough to see it. We most definitely won't be returning to this trail.

Monday, October 17, 2016

This trail is full of ticks didn't even go a quarter mile and saw 4 ticks on my dog. And very buggy even with bug spray on. Other trails have way less. would not come here again.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I'd actually describe this as more of a loop. Needs some TLC in some areas especially where they put the wooden walkways. Bring bug spray and water proof boots as it can get wet in some areas.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 2016 - do not go to this trail. Completely overgrown. Sections Impassible. I called the town to ask what is going on, and let them know. The wooden bridges/walkways are also crumbling and dangerous at this point. planks are all warped, numerous side rails missing

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pretty cool little trail for kids. brought my nephew. We saw some snakes,frogs, and neat insects.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Easy access. Dog friendly. Typical bugs for a hot Summer day. Trail around the "water" area is overgrown. Boardwalk needs some love. Railing missing in sections and a few footboards are rotten through. Must have been pretty before cattails took over the wetland area. We saw a small garter snake and a few frogs. Only passed one other family on the trail. Nice spot for a very easy nature walk. Looking forward to a Fall walk through the area. Nice overall.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nice walk, the area is beautiful. Nice if you're looking for a small walk. But, nice to check off your list of trails and hikes.

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