How to Get to Barberville Falls in Rensselaer County

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The Albany area is home to some spectacular waterfalls including spots like Cohoes Falls and Plotter Kill Preserve. Another to add to that list is Barberville Falls in Rensselaer County, New York.

Barberville Falls is located near the community of Poestenkill about 25 minutes from downtown Albany. It is the focal point of the Barberville Falls Nature Preserve, a 140-acre preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Barberville Falls is 90 feet tall and about 50 feet wide and is located on Poesten Kill. During times of high water, this is a seriously impressive waterfall.

Barberville Falls in Poestenkill NY
Barberville Falls is a very impressive waterfall.

It should be noted that, due to past issues, Barberville Falls is closed to the public from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. The land is patrolled and fines and parking tickets are handed out to those that are found at the falls.

The good news is that, if you are going to simply enjoy the beauty of this spot, the spring and fall are definitely the best time to visit New York waterfalls, so its closure during the summer is only a minor annoyance.

I had the chance to visit Barberville Falls on an incredibly rainy day in mid-May. I don’t recall ever visiting a waterfall when it was raining harder. In fact, it was nearly impossible to keep my lens free from water droplets.

Trailhead for Barberville Falls in Rensselaer County New York
The trailhead for Barberville Falls.

However, visiting during the rain ensured that I had this popular spot to myself and got to experience the waterfall flowing incredibly well. It also ensured I was soaked from head to toe when I got back to my car despite only a short hike being required to reach the base of the falls.

While there are several trails within the preserve, the Falls Trail is accessed off of Blue Factory Road. At only 0.1 miles, the trail to the base of Barberville Falls is short. However, the trail descends nearly 100 feet in that distance, making it a very steep trail. The trail also tends to be fairly muddy, so proper footwear is highly recommended.

Barberville Falls in Upstate New York
Another view of Barberville Falls.

The trail winds its way to the base of the falls and offers nice views of the waterfall from the eastern bank of Poesten Kill. Note that the far bank of the waterway is private property and swimming is not allowed here.

As you descend to the base of the falls, look for the evidence of an old mill that, according to research, was started, but never completed.

From the base of the falls, there is a nice flat area that provides great views of Barberville Falls. Even though it’s really the only view of the waterfall, it’s probably the best spot from which to view this great spot.

However, while there might only really be one spot from which to enjoy this waterfall, the short, but steep hike to the base makes visiting it very worthwhile. Just make sure that you don’t try to visit during the summer months and that you respect the beauty of this incredible waterfall.

How to Get to Barberville Falls

Trail to Barberville Falls Nature Preserve
The Falls Trail in the Barberville Falls Nature Preserve.

Barberville Falls is located just outside of Poestenkill, New York in Rensselaer County. It can be found at the following coordinates: 42.684903, -73.539747.

Parking for the waterfall is located along Plank Road directly across from the cemetery at the following coordinates: 42.687498, -73.541302.

From here, walk up Plank Road and turn left onto Blue Factory Road. Just after the bridge, you’ll see the well-marked trailhead on your left. It’s a steep 0.1-mile hike to the base of the waterfall.

As a reminder, the Barberville Falls Nature Preserve is closed to the public from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. The area is regularly patrolled, so please respect the closure and visit at other times of the year.

Looking for more places to visit nearby? Check out the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, the covered bridges of Washington County, Fort Orange Brewing, and High Falls Conservation Area.

[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]

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4 thoughts on “How to Get to Barberville Falls in Rensselaer County”

  1. Parking for Barberville Falls has been moved to a parking lot on Blue Factory Road itself (official address is 23 Blue Factory Road, Averill Park, NY 12018). The trail to the falls was moved and the trailhead is at the new parking lot.


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