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North Rim and South Rim Red Trail Loop

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Plotter Kill Nature Preserve

North Rim and South Rim Red Trail Loop is a 6.2 mile heavily 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.

Length6.2 miElevation gain935 ftRoute typeLoop
dog friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBlowdownMuddy
Description
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Contact
Getting There

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.

Schenectady County Planning Department (518) 386-2225

Take Interstate 90 (Thruway) to Exit 25A (Interstate 88). Take first exit ramp right after the toll booth. At the light, turn left onto NY Route 7 (East). After about 1/2 mile, turn left onto NY Rte 337 (North). Turn left at next light on NY Route 159 (West). Drive for 3.5 miles to parking area on the right - just past Coplon Rd.

Weather
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Reviews (833)
Photos (691)
Recordings (685)
Completed (1689)
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Kim DelMonico
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Hiking

Muddy after some rain this week. Moderate trail.

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Andrea Simmons
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Hiking

I Great workout! Beautiful falls. Muddy in spots.

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Lou Gold
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Beautiful trail, even after all the leaves down. Lots of mud. Biggest problem was crossing the stream. We started on North Rim, and no problem with first crossing. 2nd time over was precarious, but we made it without getting wet. 3rd crossing, we could not find a place to traverse without getting into minimum 6-8 inches rushing cold water. Maybe better a few weeks ago. Had to improvise. Was very helpful to have a downloaded map to help navigate being off trail for a bit. Also walked over 7 miles, not 5.3

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Rosalie Quinto
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Walking

Great trail for hiking.

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Nandini Singh
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HikingMuddy

Really beautiful and peaceful! We ended up hiking about 7mi though, not 5

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Michael OConnor
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Hiking

First 15-20 minutes in from the parking lot were very busy. It is level, flat, wide, stone path to the falls. There were lots of large families there. Once you get past that, the trail thins out because there lots of elevation changes, some fairly steep. Plenty of off-shoots and options to other trails, some where marked better than others. Without the alltrails map, we would have gotten lost when we decided to take a different trail that was not on this loop. Lots of water crossings, some with a bridge, some with solid rocks, and one that looks like you will be ankle deep during the wet season. At 11am, we got the last parking spot. When we left at 2pm, cars were parked along the road. It was a dry, 45 degree November day.

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Stephen Butler
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Hiking
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Gwen Bizal
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Hiking

Great, steep at parts, a few icy spots.

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Shaun Smith
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Hiking

Nice hike trail in great shape for late fall

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Kevin James
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Hiking
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Shaun Smith
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Hiking

I didn't see anybody and I beat the rain. Awesome morning!

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Joseph Pier
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Hiking
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M Cz
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Hiking

Heavy interstate road noise for at least 1/3 of the trail. Makes the effort despite views not really worth it.. Trail well marked until you need them such as at stream crossings and elevation changes. This is why so many people get lost.

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Megan M
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Hiking

This recording is for the Rotterdam Bicentennial Long Trail. We started at the Plotterkill trailhead and ended at the Kiwanis trailhead. The first mile or so could be a little shady with the drop off and the amount of wet leaves covering the ground, but the trail is wide enough to safely stay on the path. We took the red trail all the way out to Lower Gregg Rd. There was a clear herd path that was very well marked and well maintained. Overall, beautiful hike. There are several loops in this preserve and something for every ability. My toddler and I go to the falls and do the short blue loop often (turn right at the first junction.) We love this preserve! It’s a true hidden gem.

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Shawn Innes
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Hiking

Rotterdam bicentennial trail. out and back

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Shaun Smith
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Hiking
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Sara T
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Hiking

Great trail overall with varied terrain and lovely views. Some of the trail markers became less clear as you got into the larger loop, but the trail was fairly well maintained and visible. Be prepared to do some hiking up hill and watch out for slippery leaves and mud in the fall.

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Shaun Smith
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Hiking

Had fun. Great weather great exercise. Solitude.

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Jaimie Gardinier
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Hiking

My recording was the bicentennial long path end to end trail, which starts on the north rim trail for Plotter Kill. I exited the loop to continue down to the bike path so dont follow my recording as a guide if you are doing the loop.

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Daniel Johnson
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Hiking

This recording was for the Rotterdam Bicentennial Long Path.

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Nathan Mandsager
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HikingGreat!Muddy

Good day out on the trail. Our Fitbit tracked this loop at 8.72 miles (significantly longer than listed here). Some mud but overall a great local hike. First hike for our new pup! He did great.

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heidi dudek
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Hiking
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Joseph B
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Hiking

Trails were not marked very well. Going back in spring to see the wall falls.

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Christophe Robert
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Hiking

Nice easy hike. Trail is well marked. But with this year draught, no waterfall, no stream... Will go back in Spring...

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Lauren Fox
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Hiking

pretty well marked, a really nice hike!

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AllTrails User
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HikingGreat!

very great trail!! perfect for fall a little slippery but bearable. sometimes the markers would switch up from the spray paint to the nailed dots, overall very well marked. definitely up hill for alot of the trail but you should be fine! id also recommend wearing boots for this trail, you cross the water once or twice. its always the trick to go early as well! (DEFINITELY LONGER THAN 5MI)

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Shaun Smith
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Hiking

Nice crisp fall day to enjoy outside. The loop + I did was both good exercise and good nature walk. I do it often and always get my time's worth

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Shaun Smith
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Hiking

Enjoyed my solitary walk on the woods. Didn't see any other hiker just a red squirrel, some chumpmuks and late season Robins

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Sarah User
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Hiking

Nice hike with some pretty views. A few slippery parts, but nothing too bad.

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