New trail access at Plotterkill Preserve

— A new trail into the Plotterkill Preserve supplies another entrance for residents and allows emergency personnel to respond more effectively to a previously isolated area.

Schenectady County officials on Thursday, June 14, announced construction is finished on a new trailhead for the Plotterkill Preserve off Lower Gregg Road in Rotterdam. The new half-mile long trail ties into the current network of trails totaling more than six miles. The trail crosses a 12-acre parcel the county acquired last year, which increased the preserve to approximately 645 acres.

The county was awarded a federal Recreational Trails grant of $75,840 from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which funded the land acquisition and trail construction.

“This project preserves open space and will provide additional access to our beautiful trail system for all county residents to enjoy at no cost to taxpayers,” Schenectady County Legislator Angelo Santabarbara said in a statement. “Most importantly, the new trailhead will improve the safety of this trail by providing better access for emergency providers.”

Previously, there was not an access point at the northern “lower” end of the preserve, which made it difficult to reach for emergency service providers and maintenance personnel. County officials said usage of the preserve has increased recently.

Also, the new trail entrance allows the Long Path to access 2.5 miles of the preserve, so hikers will not need to use the roadway. The Long Path extends 350 miles from the George Washington Bridge to John Boyd Thacher Park. Future plans involve extending the trail to the Mohawk River and into the Adirondacks.

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