North Rim and South Rim Red Trail Loop

MODERATE 397 reviews

North Rim and South Rim Red Trail Loop is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Schenectady, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.3 miles Elevation Gain: 866 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

Beautiful streams, step falls and 2 tall waterfalls. It may require going off trail to view the falls. 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.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
2 days ago

To begin, the parking lot is very small and gets full quickly during the weekend. Trail head begins with a gravel coated path that spilts off to the red and blue trails. My partner and I accidentally wound up on the orange trail, which isn’t marked entirely wellwe really used the map on this app to help us out. Definitely going to stick to the actual trails next time! The trails do have some muddy areas closer to the creek and lots of rocky terrain. There are very steep areas throughout the trails. Bugs weren’t terrible at this time of the year; still use bug spray. Very enjoyable will come back again, most likely on a weekday.

Beautiful hike

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
9 days ago

This place is a hidden gem. This place is also extremely underestimated! The elevation gain in certain areas are intense! I highly recommend leaving the kids and dogs at home for this trail! Although the views are breathtaking, there are very steep slopes where the falls are to a shallow rocky bottom. Was unable to do the entire loop because I had my little one with me, this was my first time here, and I will be back...WITHOUT my little one, to do the entire loop. The views are beautiful!

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
rocky
15 days ago

this trail is not to be underestimated some points are steep and slippery well worth the hike though

hiking
bugs
muddy
16 days ago

Long loop. Beautiful scenery

hiking
19 days ago

Fun trail, took longer than anticipated, and we went in July during a period of no rain so the waterfall was dried up which was a little disappointing but still fun!

20 days ago

this is seriously underestimated! its 6.9 miles total look and nearly 5000 in elevation gain.. I'm going to do this again.. we timed at 4 hours and 12 minutes for the entire loop. bugs weren't all that bad, this is such a great hike and for those who are looking to condition.

hiking
1 month ago

The trails are misrepresented in the map. The green trail leading back to the Mariaville lot is not there! Some beautiful scenery, but as noted in other posts it is muddy and steep. Will be challenging for the casual hiker.

Beginning of trail was beautiful the rest was completely stupid no point of them extending that trail let people see the waterfalls and leave.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

1 month ago

fun local trails to explore. different everytime with the weather and conditions!

Had a great time on this trail! A little muddy in places but not bad overall. The waterfalls are my favorite part.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
1 month ago

The trails are very very muddy in some spots. Mud up to your ankles in some spots. Be prepared to walk in mud. Very Slippery and dangerous. Wait till the trails dry out. I didn’t realize that there was such a steep down line on the mountain and uphill. The red trail can be advanced hiker in some areas. I brought my dog and my 10 year old that was a huge mistake. Today is Easter and we got really really lost on the red trail. We came across a nice couple that led us in to safety. Thankfully because my son was panicking. So a big thank you to that couple if you see this!!!

2 months ago

I love this waterfall most amazing a beautiful falls around

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful spot! I went for a trail run on the rim trail but turned around not long after crossings the bridge and passing the large falls. Icy spots not optimal for running, but definitely hikeable. I look forward to going back when the ice melts! Waterfall is amazing!

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Muddy, icy. Overall unpleasant. Wait til the trails dry out.

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful spots, amazing waterfalls. nobody picks up after their dog though, so watch your step.

hiking
2 months ago

Trails arent marked good in alot of areas. Thank god for this app as I had to check GPS to find the trail again multiple times. Beautiful falls though. Definitely recommend

hiking
2 months ago

I would have rated this trail higher if not for feeling misled by the description and the trail maps. I seen some really nice pictures of the falls in the reviews leading me to believe that you could stay on marked trails and get the same views. I am the type of hiker that believes that you should follow the rules that have been set up for the public to be able to use the preserve. Rules like stay on marked trails, dogs on leashes, carry in/carry out. I could be wrong but if you stayed on marked trails there was no way that you were getting a good view of the falls. Came across a small group with a dog that wasn't leashed. Is that a problem? Probably not most of the time if the dog is friendly and not feeling threatened. Let's consider this scenario though. You're hiking the rim of a gorge, sometimes very close to the edge. You're already a little nervous because you're unsure of your footing and you don't like heights. You see an unleashed dog with a group so you stop to let them pass. The dog is friendly a has a stick in its mouth. It wants to play. The dog bumps into you with the stick wanting to play. You feel panic thinking you're going to loose your footing. Why? Because someone feels that they don't have to leash their dog because it's "friendly ".

hiking
2 months ago

Water is a little high in the spring because of the snow melt. But it makes it exciting crossing the stream.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Blue trail turns to ice about a half mile in. C'mon spring!

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful waterfalls! Do not expect to follow the trail without crossing the Platterkill River. The crossings are only passable when there is low water conditions.!!! We hiked after a rain and had to find downed trees across the River. Advanced hiking for sure. You can see a waterfall from the designated view point not far from the start of the trail. Follow blue trail.

hiking
7 months ago

All I can, we. did blue trail and then red to 1st waterfall. Easy!!

7 months ago

It’s definitely closer to 7.5 miles. Lots of up and down and crossing the kill 6 times (2 over bridges) which was fine but can get deep. Don’t expect sprawling views, there aren’t any. There are supplemental red marks on the trees as the official markers are few and far between. Had a hard time finding directions in some areas. The falls were beautiful. I would definitely rate this one as moderate.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail. The dog loved it

9 months ago

We clocked 7 miles including the stone road. We were an electic group humans (61,56,49) two dogs (4 and 14) all made it. Total time 3.5 which is a little longer than usual. Really awesome senery and a nice combo of very steep short inclines and descends.

hiking
9 months ago

If you do the entire trail (north loop and back on South loop it’s pretty long. We clocked 6.3 miles. It’s hilly at times and can be tough for the elderly. We’re glad we left the grandparents home for this one. (And all our toddlers for that matter). All in all it’s a great trail. Very scenic, picturesque and quiet. We didn’t see the waterfalls because it was dry but I’m sure they’re amazing when the water is running. We recommend it. Try it out and if you can’t make the whole trail, there are smaller loops you can hike.

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