Moccasin Kill Sanctuary Schenectady

The weather has been cooling down, and we took the opportunity to check out some new trails.  We decided to visit the Moccasin Kill Sanctuary, located in Rotterdam, NY in early September 2018.

Finding the sanctuary was easy, and we found the parking area without any problems using Google Maps.  There is space for about 2-3 cars, and there is a sign on the road that clearly marks the sanctuary.

Moccasin Kill Sanctuary

There is also a trailhead with a map, which is useful to have (I recommend taking a photo on your phone, or downloading a trail map here).

Moccasin Kill Sanctuary

The trail is pretty easy, winding through the forest.  It does go up and down a bit, but nothing too strenuous.

Moccasin Kill Sanctuary Trail

There were plenty of trail markers along the way, for both orange and blue.

Moccasin Kill Blue Trail

We did wander the wrong direction a few times, but didn’t get far before making it back to the trail because we found trail markers.

Moccasin Kill Trail Marker

The trail seemed well-maintained, and was mostly dry, although I’m guessing it could be pretty muddy at other times and may involve crossing wet areas like parts of the stream.

In early September 2018, there were only a few muddy spots, and they were avoidable since the water levels were so low.

Moccasin Kill Preserve

My daughter found some cute toads along the trail.

Moccasin Kill Sanctuary

We enjoyed flipping some rocks in the stream, looking for signs of aquatic life.

Moccasin Kill Sanctuary

The kids were excited to find some little crayfish.

Moccasin Kill Sanctuary

The trails meander around the Moccasin Kill, and it was nice to explore.  I thought the rock formations were interesting and would like to see the preserve when water levels are higher.  I noticed a lot of mushrooms growing around the preserve that seemed to be dried out from the dry weather.

Moccasin Kill Preserve

We went in the beginning of September, and found most of the stream to be dried up with the exception of some small areas.  I imagine this would be pretty nice when the water is flowing.  I would go back again when water levels are higher and also be prepared for the possibility of a muddy trail.

There are two loop trails – the red and blue trail – and we did both. Each was under a mile and the kids had no problem doing both.  I don’t think I saw any garbage while I was here either, and it’s nice to see a place that is clean with trails that are maintained.

Visit the Nature Conservancy page for the Moccasin Kill Sanctuary HERE.

Also check out our other local hikes in Upstate New York HERE.