Friday, May 30, 2008

Hiking - Plotterkill Preserve

The Plotterkill Preserve is owned by Schenectady County. It contains a gorge several miles long, with two large waterfalls and numerous smaller cascades. A red loop trail along both rims of the gorge covers about 5 miles, with significant ups and downs, some steep, and many side trails lead off the main loop to various views and cascades. It's only 20 minutes from home, and is a good place to get in a fairly strenuous hike.

The two main waterfalls were disappointing today, with only a trickle running in the Plotterkill Creek.

Compare this second waterfall with the same view in winter, a much more spectacular time to visit here:

About halfway around the loop, the trail drops down off the north rim into the gorge, where there is one of my favorite cascades:

The trail has crossed the creek at this point, and is about to begin the long climb out of the gorge to return along the south rim. This is a good place for a break, so I stayed until the mosquitoes discovered me, then went on my way. I was a little surprised that I was able to do this entire climb in one piece without a breather - this bodes well for bigger hikes in the months to come. Bike fitness appears to be transferring well!

Wild geraniums were everywhere today:

Continued along the south rim back to the car, after about 6 miles and 3 hours on the trail.

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