We have been meaning to hike the Plotter Kill Preserve for years! This is a well-known hike in the Capital Region, and it was only a matter of time before hiked there.
It is easy to find the preserve. There are several trailheads, but someone recommended the Mariaville Road trailhead, which is closest to the waterfalls.
There is a large sign along the road, which made it easy to spot the parking lot.
I was impressed at the size of the parking lot here.
I tried finding an official trail map for this preserve, but I could not seem to find an official map provided by the county.
The first section of the trail by the large falls is very wide and makes for an easy walk.
There are many warning signs here. I had heard of incidents happening at the Plotterkill Preserve, so I can see why there are so many warnings and barriers.
The Upper Falls is not far from the Mariaville Road parking lot. We were there in April, so there was plenty of water going over the falls.
Not far from the falls, there is an overlook.
After viewing the Upper Falls from this side, we backtracked a little down the trail so that we could access the trails on the other side of the falls. Here, we took the bridge to the red trail.
The trails on this side are different, and more like what I consider a typical hiking trail. They are also very well traveled, as you can see from this part of the trail that is covered in roots.
Here, you can view the Upper Falls from the top, and also walk down to the creek below.
Signs warn you not to approach the top of the falls, which have unfortunately been a place where people have slipped and fallen over the falls.
As far as the rest of the red trail, it meandered through the woods. Despite trail maps along the way, it was difficult to decipher the maps and figure out where to go.
The maps at the preserve were not particularly helpful, especially when the map doesn’t even show a red trail (and I can only assume the orange shown is actually supposed to be red). I always try to do my research before doing a trail, and it seems like most people have the same issue if they head out more than a half mile or so on the red trail.
We mostly ended up taking trails along the streams here.
There were lots of spots that seem like they would make for a nice place for a picnic during warmer weather.
There are lots of mini waterfalls that we enjoyed seeing as well.
We saw some other spring flowers like this trout lily.
We found ourselves having to look for the red trail a couple of times.