Balsam Lake Mountain Trail is a 6.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Livingston Manor, NY that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Hardenburgh, NY: Travel Route 54 to Turnwood and continue east about 4 miles to the end of Beaver Kill Road. The road's pavement changes to gravel/dirt mix. Park at the DEC parking area and begin on the blue-blazed Dry Brook Ridge Trail to the junction with the red-blazed Balsam Lake Mt. Trail.
Did this hike from beaverkill road, such an awesome hike! Really easy slope for the first mile and then gets a lot steeper for the end of the hike. Beautiful views from the fire tower!
Hiked in from millbrook, snowed most of the hike. The fire tower was cool, checked out the lean to as well. Will repeat with nicer weather and stay the night.
The trail was not too strenuous, but it was rocky in places. I hiked the trail after it had rained a couple days earlier, so some spots were muddy and puddles. The trail was pretty much covered by trees, so there wasn't any good views as you hiked up the trail. Once you reached the the fire tower there's still no good views unless you climb the fire tower. When I went the ranger station and the tower was locked, but I was still able to climb the tower and take pictures. The view from the tower was worth the hike.
Hiked with my wife and 10 other members of the Catskill 3500 Foot Club. Visited the top of Balsam Lake Mountain (and the fire tower) and then hiked over to Graham as well. Neither of these two mountains are difficult hikes. The grade of the trail to Balsam is gentle enough for the whole family. The distance listed in the overview description is for one way. The trail to Graham is on private property and to be respectful it is best to ask permission before using this "unmaintained trail". While the slope isn't difficult to Graham I would not recommend if as a family hike because of it's overgrown nature. It is however one of the Catskill peaks over 3500 feet and if you are trying to hike all of them, then you need this one too. I gave this hike four stars because of the fire tower (only one of five in the Catskills). You can't get better views anywhere else!
We took the hike from Mill Brook Road, and the trail was very easy. Pretty much the most gradual climb (besides a few sections of true climbing) I have ever done! Just before the log-in kiosk, we scared a baby black bear that was about 30 feet off the trail. Regardless, we forged on! Spent a nice 45 minutes talking to the tower volunteer, with no other people! The volunteer was helpful, polite and definitely a nice addition to the expansive views!
This was a great, moderately, steep, somewhat rocky trail. Incredible 360* view from the firetower. Great hike from the firetower to a lean to for overnight camping & balsam lake. Can't wait to go back in the late Fall when the leaves are gone. Was only able tooccasionally catch a slight glimpse of the view on the way up the trail to the fire tower. On a hot day..the trail was cool & shady
This was a great day hike. On a clear day the view from the fire tower is beautiful.
The view was killer the hick was kind of steep though. As long as the wind isn't crazy go up to the top of the tower! Best view once at the top
Best 360-degree view I have ever seen in my life!
Pretty painless to get up to the fire tower. Unfortunately, the tower was being worked on and I wasn't allowed up. Wouldn't have minded much, but the trail from Millbrook is pretty uneventful without a view to pay it off. Would have been nice if the volunteers had left a note in the lot. The glimpses you get through the trees reveal just enough to deduct the 360 up there must be awesome.