North Rim and South Rim Red Trail Loop

MODERATE 371 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
muddy
rocky
washed out
1 hour 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!!!

5 days ago

I love this waterfall most amazing a beautiful falls around

hiking
snow
6 days 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
14 days ago

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

hiking
muddy
snow
14 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

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

hiking
19 days 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

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
22 days ago

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

hiking
snow
25 days ago

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

hiking
5 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
5 months ago

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

6 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
6 months ago

Great trail. The dog loved it

7 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
7 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.

7 months ago

Pretty good views once you find them. We went on the orange trail and got a bit off trail due to poor trail management, it seems you should stick to blue and red to get the best experience. Cool geology and beautiful falls.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked after 2 days of passing storms, trail was muddy but not too challenging. The river crossings were shin to knee deep with moderate current. Well marked trails but All Trails app was useful. The toughest part of the hike was the ascent on the South Rim Trail. Beautiful scenery, nice stream and river crossings, and grade changes made for a nice hike. Roughly took 3.5 hours from the Coplan Road Parking Lot.

8 months ago

I have

hiking
8 months ago

My wife and I took our dog and our boys hiking there yesterday. Crossing the creek was a bit challenging at the North end of the trail and it was a bit muddy, but overall it was a nice hike and the trail was well marked. They need to fix some of the steps though, the wood or rock has slid and it leaves an exposed rebar rod sticking out of the ground.

8 months ago

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

9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months 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
9 months 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

10 months 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!

10 months 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
10 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.

10 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
10 months ago

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

Load More