Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest Trail

MODERATE 44 reviews
#24 of 84 trails in

Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest Trail is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Livingston Manor, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,181 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

mountain biking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

snow

Directions from Ulster County, NY: The Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest lies primarily in Ulster County encompassing the town of Hardenburgh and stretching to the towns of Middletown and Andes which lie in Delaware County. Trailhead parking and recreation area access is well marked. The more popular trailheads include:Dry Brook Ridge Trailhead - Located on Mill Brook Road in the town of Hardenburgh, 8 miles south of Arkville.Kelly Hollow Trailhead - Located on Mill Brook Road in the town of Middletown, 13 miles southeast of Margaretville.Alder Lake Trailhead - Located at the end of Alder Creek Road / Route 54 in the town of Hardenburgh, 18 miles north of Livingston Manor.Hardenburgh Trailhead - Located on Beaverkill Road in the town of Hardenburgh, 6 miles east of Turnwood.Balsam Lake Mountain Trailhead - Located at the eastern end of the Beaverkill Road in Hardenburgh, 8 miles east of Turnwood.

1 month ago

This was our last Firetower of the Catskill Firetower Challenge weekend. The location is very remote. The first 0.9 miles is relatively flat. We took the right, clockwise turn up the steep pitch on the trail which wasn’t that bad really, I would suggest microspikes though. From the junction the summit was 1.8 miles from the trailhead. Instead of doing the loop we just turned around and made our way down the slope again, cutting almost a mile from the loop. The tower is in good shape and the views were stunning.

2 months ago

Very doable. Did it ccw and the way up (red) was rockier and the way down (red to blue) was muddier. Pretty easy otherwise. Views from the tower, one view spot on the way down. Good hike for a half day activity (drive from 17 included).

3 months ago

nice walk in the woods and a beautiful view from the fire tower.

hiking
4 months ago

I’ve never climbed a mountain and I chose to do Balsam Lake Mountain because of the fire tower for my birthday. M

Does the trail have spectacular views? No, but it’s well marked which is exactly what I was looking for.

The last 3/4 miles were brutal, but in a good way. Once I got to the summit it all became worth it.

The weather was great, the views were breathtaking, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

10/10, would recommend.

hiking
5 months ago

A very nice hike! The view is best from the firetower, the tree cover at the top prevents most horizon viewing. We did the loop with our dog and ate a packed lunch at the picnic table at the summit. There were two very nice stewards on duty and the ranger cabin was open to the public, with displays and information. However, we did see quite a bit of what looked like giant hogweed on the trail. The most was on the climb up, especially as we neared the spring location, and there was some on the way down. If that is indeed what it was, be careful. I didn’t want to examine it too closely and risk getting sap on my skin. Edit: I heard back from the DEC, they’ve checked the area after a few calls and it is cow parsnip, not giant hogweed, so that’s good news!

hiking
9 months ago

The trail road is blocked by a snow bank two miles before the trail is supposed to start. wait until spring or be prepared to snowshoe through deep snow. Didnt make the attempt at a summit because i wasnt prepared for the extra distance

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Nice, peaceful hike. Very gentle. Combined with Graham for a 4 hour trip. Great hike, great trail.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

loved it

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

like the mile wide lipstick trails,and globalmap zoom in for home viewing,wasteful.

hiking
Saturday, April 08, 2017

Easy, short loop. Nice views on fire tower at summit.

hiking
Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another great hike and fire tower. The volunteers at the rangers cabin on the summit were very helpful and informative.

hiking
Saturday, May 18, 2013

Don't know if this is the same hike as the 1 off of mill brook rd, but nice hike with a fire tower at the top.

mountain biking
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mostly a wide Rugged Rocky Trail. Icy Stream. I came within inches of riding over a 5-6' pregnant Timber Rattler.

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