New Trail Access for Plotterkill Preserve Now Open
Schenectady County officials today announced that the County has finished construction on a new trailhead for the Plotterkill Preserve at Lower Gregg Road in the Town of Rotterdam. The half mile long trail will tie into the current six plus mile network of trails that are located within the Plotterkill Preserve.
“This project preserves open space and will provide addition access to our beautiful trail system for all County residents to enjoy at no cost to taxpayers,” said Angelo Santabarbara, Schenectady County Legislator representing Rotterdam. “Most importantly, the new trailhead will improve the safety of this trail by providing better access for emergency providers.”
The trail crosses a 12-acre parcel the County acquired in 2011. Funding for the land purchase and trail construction was provided by a $75,840 federal Recreational Trails grant that the County received after submitting a competitive grant application with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The acquisition brings the total size of the Plotterkill Preserve to approximately 645 acres. The project provides a much needed access point at the northern “lower” end of the Preserve and allows the Long Path trail to access 2.5 miles of the Plotterkill rather than using existing roadways. The Long Path was the vision of Vincent J. Schaefer of Schenectady, who proposed that New York establish its own "Long Path" similar to the Long Trail in Vermont. Currently, the Long Path extends 350 plus miles from the George Washington Bridge to John Boyd Thacher Park. Future plans are to extend the trail to the Mohawk River and eventually into the Adirondacks.
The project also provides much better access for emergency service providers and trail maintenance personnel to a previously difficult area of the Preserve to reach. The Preserve has seen increasing use in recent years as it provides a substantial hiking opportunity for residents in Schenectady County and the Capital District.