Rotterdam Junction in Schenectady County, New York, is a small hamlet within the town of Rotterdam. Nestled along the Mohawk River, Rotterdam Junction is dog-friendly, and surrounded by several other dog-friendly places such as Glenville and Schenectady.
The Plotter Kill Preserve ("kill" being an old Dutch word for stream or brook), with 632 acres of forested nature reserve and hiking trails, is open year-round. It contains the popular visitor site the Plotter Kill Gorge, which sits at the point where the Kill empties into the Mohawk after dropping a total of 900 feet to the river. From the trailhead at Marianvillde Rd, the Red Trail follows the Kill’s progress for 3.5 miles, and on it you and Fido will encounter 3 waterfalls with 60 and 40 foot drops. It is a fairly easy hike, but be aware that there are unstable cliff edges along the way. In the winter, the trail is popular for snowshoeing. Paw-tastic!
Rotterdam Junction is also home to the Mabee Farm Historic Site, which is the oldest farm in the Mohawk Valley, and dog friendly to leashed pups. Although pets are not permitted within the historic buildings on the site, they can accompany you as you explore the riverside beauty of the farm’s gardens, lawns, orchards and forest trails. Visit the dock to see the 18th century barge used to ship goods and supplies up and down the river.There is much more to explore in the Rotterdam Junction area, so bring your fur-pup and enjoy!
These 2 Rotterdam hamlets are often combined for census purposes into a neighborhood, and in the case of the Mohawk-Hudson
Bike-Hike Trail, it is especially appropriate. This trail begins in Pattersonville
and travels along the old Erie Canal towpath through Rotterdam Junction on its way
to Albany and the Hudson River 35 miles away. It is part of the Canalway Trail
that follows the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany, and it features restrooms
and drinking water for Fido, areas for picnics, and many local historic
buildings such as old mills and farms. You’ll also see wildlife and wildflowers
along the way, and scenic views of the Mohawk River. There are packed dirt
offshoot trails as well, and they are worth taking the time to explore. Dogs
are welcome on leash in designated areas of the trail, so be sure to look for
signs. Carpe dog-em!
Glenville is a town in Schenectady County that's just across the Mohawk River from Rotterdam Junction. It is home to the Sanders Town Preserve, which features a 4-mile loop trail that is appropriate for all levels of hikers and walkers. This is a dog-friendly area, and your pup must be leashed. Open year-round, Sanders Town Preserve is perfect for a variety of activities you can do with Fido: cross-country skiing, walking, nature hikes, and bird-watching. It features a waterfall on Washout Creek, and some areas near the creek can be muddy, so be sure to watch your footing. Glenville is also home to the Indian Meadows Park, another dog-friendly area with mostly flat, easy trails through woods and fields. Indian Kill traverses the southern portion of the park. The park also features athletic fields, a sledding hill, a playground and ice skating rink, so bring the whole family! Fido and the kids will love it!
Rotterdam is a village adjacent to Rotterdam Junction. It hosts Poutre Park, a
sports park that also features open green space and trees around the perimeter that
make for a nice walk or sit with your fur-buddy at your side. Dogs must be
leashed, and while they aren’t allowed on the playing fields during games, this is a peaceful oasis in
the middle of town to run and relax. Rotterdam is also home to Wagon Train BBQ,
where you and your furry bestie can get all the meat you could want and enjoy
it together at one of their outside tables. Pork, beef, bacon, seafood and
chicken reign here, and they serve up salads and pizza, too! Bone appetit!
The city of Schenectady lies just east of Rotterdam Junction, and this neighborhood holds a cemetery that helped form a dog-friendly park. The Vale Cemetery is the burial place of many upstate New York famous people, and the crypts and mausoleums, some crumbling, make for fascinating viewing. Dogs can accompany you on your exploration through the cemetery, on leash. Vale Park on the north side of the cemetary features a gazebo, a picnic shelter, walking paths paved with fine pebble, and a pond from which you can cast a line with a leashed Fido by your side. The park and cemetery were originally planted with over 1,000 trees, and they largely remain today, providing a natural landscape closer to woodland than cemetery. A wooden bridge crosses the tiny brook that drains the pond’s overflow, and birds are present everywhere. This is a fantastic spot for stimulating all of your senses, and Fido’s, in a serene setting.
The dog-friendly Mohawk River State Park (formely the Schenectady Museum Preserve) is in this neighborhood in the town of Niskayuna, about 5 miles from Rotterdam Junction. There is a small parking area at the end of Whitmyer Drive, from which you can access the 105-acre park. Planned as a passive recreation park, it has been left largely undeveloped, which makes it ideal for hikers and their canine companions who want to experience wildlife and forested growth in their natural state. There are several marked trails, which connect with other public lands, and a boat launch on the river. One trail features some significant inclines, but the views of the Mohawk from the top are worth the effort. About a 35-minute walk will take you and Fido wherever you want to go in the park. Your pup must be leashed, and don’t forget to bring water for both of you. The state also requires you to carry out whatever you carry in, and they don’t provide waste containers.