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Please Note: The Barberville Falls Preserve will be closed from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Nature Conservancy is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience to all who use the preserve.
Barberville Falls is a spectacular sight. Above Barberville, the Poesten Kill drains about 35 square miles of the Rensselaer Plateau — an area from Dyken Pond on the north to Taberton on the south. This drainage basin generates a substantial flow of water throughout the year, although the flow is most dramatic in the spring when the snowpack is melting. When it reached the Hudson River at Troy, this same flow of water provided water power for much of that city's early industrial development.
Below the falls, the stream flows through a gorge as deep as 100 feet and 500-1,000 feet wide. The waterfall itself is about 90 feet high and 50-60 feet wide. The main rock at the falls is Rensselear greywacke; above the falls are beds of Nassau slate and limestone.
Note: This site is patrolled by the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department, and the New York State Police. Hiking, bird watching, and other passive recreational activities are encouraged. Swimming, climbing on the rocks, and consumption of alcohol on the property are strictly prohibited. Please park only in designated areas. Parking on private property, along roadways, or other non-permitted areas may result in ticketing and/or your vehicle being towed at your expense. Access the property from the designated trailheads only and remain on preserve land. Crossing private lands is disrespectful to our neighbors and may result in a trespassing violation.
Along the Ridge and Creek trails in the valley, look for a variety of wildflowers including starflower, Indian cucumber, jack-in-the-pulpit, trillium, trout lily and cardinal flower. The forest is a mixture of hemlock and hardwoods such as yellow birch, white ash and sugar and red maples.
Download a map of the hiking trails at Barberville Falls Preserve.
- From the Albany area, take I-90 East to exit 7.
- Follow Washington Avenue east to Defreestville, straight through the light at Route 4, taking Route 43 to West Sand Lake.
- Approximately 0.7 miles beyond the light in West Sand Lake, turn left on Route 351
- Continue straight through the red light at Route 66 to Poestenkill.
- At Poestenkill, turn right at the blinker onto County 40 (Plank Rd.)
- Continue 1.4 miles to a parking area on the left, across from Broadside Cemetery.