North Rim and South Rim Red Trail Loop

MODERATE 380 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

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

old growth

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.

10 days ago

A wonderful hike though it was a little dicey in parts. Winter appears to have brought some changes to the landscape.

1 month ago

One of my favorite local places. Always bring my dogs!!

hiking
1 month ago

Taking up hiking as a retirement activity and this was our first hike. Had a great day only wish we had known that the waterfalls would not be running. Will have to go back next spring!

hiking
1 month ago

What a great hike! We hiked the red trail from Coplon rd in flip flops! (Not recommended) Yes, it can be challenging at times. You might ask yourself several times “is this really the trail?” It is, and it’s awesome! This trail has everything, natural stone steps or roots or logs that nature put in just a way to use as stepping stones. There’s a stream and waterfalls, although the water level seemed low, but yay! That means you can cross the stream at the low water crossing point. You end up crossing the stream back and forth. There is some minor rock climbing/scaling. Beautiful cool paths through the woods that open into an open field and you realize you’re on the edge of a cliff! So beautiful. We had a great time

1 month ago

Really nice hike! My dad and I had never been there before and had no trouble with finding our way. Follow the RED MARKERS and you'll be fine. you'll see that the trail comes to forks, just look for the RED markers. There are tons of signs to tell you which direction you're heading. Remember what road you're parked at too! There isn't much water on the falls and the trails were not muddy!

1 month ago

Poorly marked trail with multiple different colored trail markers. We ended up just winging it but found our way to all 3 of the falls

hiking
2 months ago

Poorly marked; not ok for first timers. Steep slopes and sometimes trail is close to the edge. Need appropriate footwear. Bring water and snacks.
The view is beautiful and you can see the falls, although they are not properly marked on the trail.

2 months ago

Nice hike. Did the red loop. Pretty easy to follow.

The Falls were nice but not much water today.

Rather than a steady climb, you climb and decend rather steep areas several times.

The hike on here is listed as 5.3 miles and 866 foot elevation gain but my fitness tracker recorded it as 6.4 miles and 1079 foot elevation gain.

walking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, beautiful falls, a bit muddy, some streams to cross but worth it for the falls

trail running
2 months ago

Well maintained trail with great views. Map on this app was very helpful in areas where the trail wasn’t marked clearly. Beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
2 months ago

The full loop is a great easy hike just keep a keen eye for trail signs. Using the map from this app was extremely helpful. There are areas where others were swimming close to the beginning of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Not recommended for first timers. Went on a rainy day, gets pretty muddy and a little rough in some parts. Parts of the trails go through the streams so simple sneakers may not suffice. Believe the other comments about unmarked trail, the markers are hard to follow. There are some maps throughout the way, but they're all washed out. The longest route is the red trail to follow. Good waterfall points to see. I'd hike it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Great day for a hike. Slippery due to the rain yesterday- excited to go back once the trails dry out. Impressed with the new red markers.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is marked...but not marked well. Even while keeping a close eye out for blazes, I ended up off trail or turned around several times. The trail itself doesn't give you great views of the waterfalls, but hiking along the streams is peaceful, and it's a beautiful, woody path. Trail is still quite muddy in places.

hiking
2 months ago

Took lots of wrong turns because the trail was poorly marked in my opinion. Lots of red dots on the trees but when it came time to forks or turns, you'd have to go down the trail a bit to see the next trail marker and hope you made the right turn or else ya gotta turn around.
Nothing really to see along the loop. If I had known I would have turned around once I hit the creek crossing (coming from Mariaville Rd).
Very muddy and narrow. Wouldn't recommend this for kids as there are steep ledges along the trail.
No trail down to see the big waterfall but it is possible to get down there. Be careful.

hiking
2 months ago

A perfect place to go as a beginner or an veteran hiker. There's plenty to see and plenty to explore, going off trail for the waterfalls isn't a recommended ideal but, really brings this place out for you. Aside from very relaxed environment and amazing views this place could use a little less cautionary flare. It's polluted with signs, markers, and trash from adolescent mistakes.
Going there as a kid to now was slightly depressing but none the less an amazing place to explore and get away from it all.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this trip! The falls were stunning, not flowing too much water at the moment but still extremely enjoyable. We took the red trail & found that to be the best one to see all 3 waterfalls. The trails are definitely still a bit muddy & loose which makes the steep parts a bit nerve wrecking. We got a TICK BITE from the trail, luckily the tick had just "dug in" when we found it & all is fine, but be aware that there are ticks in the area.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Waterfalls are flowing beautifully! The trail is muddy and slick in a lot of spots, but a good hike.

3 months ago

awesome time

3 months ago

Did this trail 2 days ago. Good trail, but was very muddy in certain spots. Be prepared to cross the stream in some spots, feet might get wet since the river is high. Waterfalls we're full and beautiful!

3 months ago

Hiked this trail last weekend, was a beautiful day. trail was well marked and falls were very pretty.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely loved this place. A lot of inclines, so be prepared to get a workout. Trails are muddy in some spots and there were a few downed trees, but they well marked and very clean. I saw no trash or litter as described in a previous post. Things people should know 1)There is no direct access to the falls. The upper falls has an unmarked trail, but you do have to cross the creek a couple times and yes, your feet do get wet. Also, it is still a bit icy down there. 2) You have to cross the creek a few times on the main red trail. Your feet will most likely get wet. 3) I would not recommend this area for small children. There are a lot of steep inclines and ravines. The trail is narrow in some spots on the inclines. Also the bottom 2 falls can only be viewed from the top of the falls. The rocks are muddy and slippery. Did not seem safe for little ones.

hiking
3 months ago

nice day to take a hike with the dog. this is a great woodland trail. it goes up and down the ravine and has some decent inclines. Trail is pretty well-marked all the way to the north end where a nice waterfall is. past a few streams and creeks on the way. very low running water if any today. was going to finish the red trail but markers along the way indicated trail ended at different parking lot entrance so we just headed back. Trail has some steep cliffs on the side along the way. will come back later in the year to finish the trail and see the other waterfalls. beautiful day, great exercise! Sun. 22 App. 2018

hiking
4 months ago

pretty good trails, the waterfall is beautiful. The problem I had was the litter everywhere.

5 months ago

Pretty icy out there

6 months ago

Wear metal crampons if hiking in the winter. This trail is extremely slick with ice. Wear warm clothes and proper hiking attire. Stay away from the edges as there is ice under the snow and it is very easy to slip. It’s a long way to the bottom.

hiking
6 months ago

I was really excited to try this hike, but unfortunately the reserve was closed. Yellow tape and the like. There were signs saying when they would reopen.

Will try again when I am back in that part of the state.

hiking
8 months ago

Took my sister here in spring and the falls were great. Easy walk though very muddy.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail and well maintained. Very end of the red loop has a blue loop not worth adding- takes you to a gravel pit and a culvert. Along the ridges entirely flat, with some up and downs at the ends.

Load More