Balsam Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 18 reviews
#25 of 48 trails in

Balsam Mountain Loop Trail is a 9.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Pine Hill, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,169 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly


nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers




The first mile or so if the trail is actually the road. We elected to drive up to the top and park outside the gate that restricts road access - did not seem like we missed much not being on the trail/road. Disappointing to find absolutely no view at the top - we were convinced we were going to come across the Bellayre skill lift when we reached the top but nope...

Mon Sep 25 2017

One of the better hikes I have done in the Catskills. Recently moved from Utah, and this trail was nearly as challenging as some hikes there. Very rewarding and a wonderful view.

Mon Jul 17 2017

Ok, destination provided by All Trails put me on back roads of Pine Hill with no trail head or signs in sight. Needs to be updated.

Sat Jul 15 2017

Good quick trail. Super muddy up by the summit. Rocks are slippery all over. A must do.

Thu Jul 16 2015

My first hike 3 months after 2 knee surgeries and as if it wasn't exciting enough - my very first hike on snowshoes :) Fortunately, when we came to the beginning of the loop, we chose to go to the right. We had to skip Eagle due to the lateness of the hour (we started too late) and we ended up on a steep slope down, which we continued hiking either sliding on our butts or in my case - on my face giggling for the next 10 min :) - it takes time to get use to wearing snow shoes, but fortunately the snow was fluffy so I survived this experiment. I am planning on completing both mountains the last weekend of July. It will definitely feel different with all this lush foliage around ...

Mon Sep 08 2014

We hiked Balsam and Eagle from the Rider Hollow PA. In the summer this isn't a hike for the views since we saw none. In the winter, I am told there are views from the top of Balsam. We did however see a bear in the col between Haynes Mtn and Eagle. As we passed near his position in a tree just 40 feet off the trail we must have frightened him because he came out of that tree giving way to gravity about 15 feet off the ground. Once he hit the forest floor he shot out like a rocket in the direction away from us. We was obviously frightened him and we were to stunned to do anything but stare. We sang "It's a Pirate's Life for Me" all the way to the top of Eagle just to give advance notice to any other bears in the area. Lots of scat on the trail to Eagle and Balsam, so if you are hiking these two mountains in September, be alert. The trailhead from Rider Hollow is about 300 feet higher and a quarter mile shorter than the one from McKinley Hollow on the opposite side of the ridgeline, so Rider Hollow has my vote, plus the trail itself is smooth and less rocky than normally seen in the Catskills.

Tue Jul 22 2014

Fun hike. Good view from the fire tower.

4 months ago

Sat Sep 29 2018

Sat Jun 30 2018

Sat Jun 30 2018

Sat Mar 24 2018

Mon Feb 12 2018

Tue Aug 30 2016

Sat Nov 16 2013

Wed Nov 28 2012