Plotter Kill Nature Preserve

Plotter Kill Composite

Snow, wind and ice at Plotter Kill.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

I recently discovered AOA's post about waterfalls in the area and grew a little sad; I'd likely have to wait until Spring to enjoy their beauty in person.

But then I found myself cooped up in the house with a hyper dog and an antsy husband on a very cold Sunday. So I remembered CFFML and set out to Plotter Kill Nature Preserve in Rotterdam. It's just as pretty as the photos suggest, but during this time of year, it's in a much cooler way.

Plotter Kill Trail Sign

Here are a few facts about Plotterkill:

+ Plotter Kill is 645 acres large. There are 3 trails: red, yellow and blue. Red takes you to the falls.

Plotter Kill Red Dot

+ The preserve has a unique landscape that descends 900 feet, so you'll want to wear rugged boots and take your time as you navigate its trails. There are three high falls there: one with a drop of 60 feet, one at 30 feet, and one at 40 feet. They were all frozen when I visited which, in some ways, makes them more accessible.

Plotter Kill Frozen Falls

+ The gorge of Plotter Kill was cut by melt waters at the close of the ice age about 10.000 years ago and over 600 plant species have been found at the preserve.

Plotter Kill Wind Plant

+ Signage and county documents refer to the site as Potter Kill and Plotterkill. A 1970 county historical document (pre-nature preserve status) refers to it as Plotter Kill Gorge.

+ Its full name, designated in 2001 is the Almy D. Coggehall Plotter Kill Preserve. Mr Coggehall was an active member of the Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council, serving as Chair and Co-Chair at various times. He also worked to develop and maintain Plotterkill.

Plotter Kill Moss

+ Before it was made public, many people were already hiking on Plotter Kill. A 1970 Schenectady County Planning document stressed the importance of making the area a county park before construction of Interstate 890 threatened the land.

+ On June 3rd, 1977, a ceremony designated the area for public use. The land was purchased using a combination of county, state and federal funding.

Plotter Kill Road

+ On December 9th, 2010 the county purchased 12 acres of land that will be added to the preserve. This piece of land will allow access from the NY-NJ State Long Path to Plotterkill (the Long Path extends from the George Washington Bridge to John Boyd Thacher Park)

Plotter Kill Track Snow

+ There are two places to park when visiting the preserve: Mariaville Rd (room for approximately 8-10 cars here) and Coplon Rd (room for approximately 3-4 cars here). Park at Mariaville if you want to get to the falls quickly. (Shortly after the trail begins you will have to walk down some stairs and over a narrow bridge.)

+ You might want to print off a trail map before you hike around.

Comments

Every time that I make the effort to get out into the wild during the snowy and cold winter months I come back wondering why I don't do it more often. It really is exhilarating and balances the guilt you can feel by just lazing around.

This place looks great.

For much more info, we suggest checking out the blog of local artist-puppeteer-outdoorsman Ed Atkeson, Hiking the Plotter Kill Preserve: http://hikingplotterkill.wordpress.com/

Thanks, Greg. A blog just dedicated to hiking Plotter Kill? How neat.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Skate now or next season

Heads up: The last day of the season for the ESP ice skating rink is this Sunday, March 8. It's open 11 am-8 pm every... (more)

Today's moment of winter

The layer of wet snow from overnight made for good tracks on the sidewalk. And walking along today it was interesting to see what other... (more)

Tech Valley Civic App Challenge

Game on: A coalition of local groups has launched the Tech Valley Civic App Challenge, which will be awarding $18,000 in prize money for community-focused... (more)

Made in Troy: The Iris Lamp

Check it out: A Troy-based company called Lightexture is making these adjustable "iris" lamps that create a range of light patterns. The company is... (more)

Jingle all the way, all the time

The conversion of 105.7 FM to "Santa 105.7," an all-Christmas music, all year long format, is either 1) A herald that the end times will... (more)

Recent Comments

... But some of the negatives mentioned could be flipped into positives, after all the 1980 games was seen as a toned down version of previous events. In terms of Olympic infrastructure, Lake Placid has most of it already. ...

AOA Birthday Party 7

...has 10 comments, most recently from Emily

Three reasons why bringing the Olympics back to New York State is a bad idea

...has 5 comments, most recently from Paul

Jingle all the way, all the time

...has 1 comment, most recently from ace

Byrne Dairy ice cream sandwiches

...has 5 comments, most recently from Daniel B.

Orange is the new green

...has 1 comment, most recently from Sue