By Kelly de la Rocha
CAPITAL REGION — It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen one. Waterfalls never cease to be amazing.
All of that water splashing down — the sound of it, the spray that flies, the way it catches the light — is hypnotizing.
This summer, get out and see some of the breathtaking waterfalls — both large and small — that liven up local rivers and creeks. Here are some places to start with:
• Plotter Kill Nature Preserve, Route 159, Rotterdam
This scenic spot not far from Rotterdam Square mall includes 632 acres of cliffs, bluffs, woodsy walking trails and three impressive waterfalls ranging from 40 to 60 feet in height. Smaller ones can be found too, between the cliffs and steep slopes of the ravine near the New York State Thruway.
For suggested walks, see Natural Areas of Schenectady County, published by ECOS: The Environmental Clearinghouse, www.ecosny.org.
• Christman Sanctuary, 3281 Schoharie Turnpike, Duanesburg
The Bozen Kill creek winds through this 97-acre nature preserve. Along its path is a 30-foot waterfall and a series of smaller ones. The path to the larger falls — an unmarked side trail off of the blue trail — passes between huge chunks of a sandstone ledge that have split and broken off.
• Indian Kill Nature Preserve, Maple Avenue, Glenville
Walk a while in this 100-acre preserve that follows the banks and bluffs of the Indian Kill creek and you’ll discover two large waterfalls along with some smaller cascades.
• John Boyd Thacher State Park, 1 Hales Cave Road, Voorheesville
Perched on top of the Helderberg Escarpment, the park offers views of waterfalls tumbling from limestone cliffs. You can walk right beneath several of them on the Indian Ladder Trail. Although the trail is short, it includes some steep flights of steps, so it’s not for everyone.
• Cohoes Falls, off North Mohawk Street, Cohoes
The Mohawk River spills over smooth shale in a spectacular 90-foot-high display easily viewed from the four-acre Falls View Park between 231 and 341 N. Mohawk St. Water flow over the falls is most impressive in springtime, but it’s still an amazing sight in summer.
• Huyck Preserve, 5052 Delaware Turnpike, Rensselaerville
This preserve offers 12 miles of hiking trails that loop around Lake Myosotis and Lincoln Pond, through woods, fields and wetlands, and above and below the 120-foot-high Rensselaerville Falls.
This story originally appeared in The Daily Gazette.