Explore the most popular trails near Livingston Manor with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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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.

Fire tower was cool when I went to the top and the tv thing was awesome I loved it

Beautiful views from fire tower and small pocket view at the top of Graham mountain which is private property you have to call be for you go. Overall left turn is very steep but worth it

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!

We hiked the 6 mile route to the fire tower and back. Would suggest taking the second path up to the fire tower (parked at the Dry Brook parking area) as that was a little steeper than the first path to the fire tower and the first path would be easier to come down on. Amazing views and the fresh pine/fir smell wish I could bottle it!

A fair simple hike. We walked to Balsam Lake to the fire tower then to Graham which has a nice opening for lunch. You can probably see a lot from the tops of both but it was cloudy when we went.

A good bit of exercise walking up the snowmobile trail from Mongaup Pond Campground. There are a few muddy spots, but it's very peaceful and quiet. The trail is always very visible, but it isn't well cleared during the spring, which allows some pretty wildflowers to grow.

Nice hike with great weather her and clear views. The hike up to Graham was pretty straightforward as there was pretty much a herd path and we rehiked BLM.

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 January 21, 2017: Parked at Mill Brook Rd at around noon, a very pleasant and steady uphill climb in snowy, sunny and warm conditions. I would say the last .75 miles is where your gain most of the elevation, and, the balsam forest on top is very nice in a few inches of new snow. This is a good and relaxing walk up to the fire tower. Was back at the Parking lot at 4 pm, I walked down with a fellow hiker.

Note that the entrance on Beaver Kill Rd may be somewhat difficult to access in some cars. It turns into a seasonal road and the snow maintenance is spotty. But the drive down that road is beautiful on its own.
Anyway, I just did this hike with 2-3 inches of snow on the ground. It's a little steep in some places but very manageable. The trail is beautiful overall, there's a spring and a lean-to toward the top of the mountain, and the fire tower view is spectacular. Also, the dense pine forest at the top of the mountain is straight out of a fairytale, something that needs to be seen in the snow.

The peak was not as high as I would have liked. Nice and clean!

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

Great hike. No view. Listed as a bushwhack. Not much of one. Herd paths to the top. First mile marked level trail. Lots of leaves down and a bit slick. A must do for the 3500' challenge.

hiking
10 months ago

I hiked around lake out to ridge overlook for 9.5 miles round trip, 1300 elevation gain. Easy hike and less rocky than many trails in area. Watch out for hunters in fall.

10 months ago

Fantastic hike especially this time of year

Nice hike. Some spots were pretty challenging closer to the top but overall a great family hike! The view from the tower was awesome as some of the fall foliage was starting to pop out! Volunteer was very friendly and informative as well!

great trail. moderate. not much to see on the trail but view from tower is impressive, worth the 3 mi there and 3 mi back. make sure you navigate to dry brook trailhead to park your car for the 6 mile loop hike to the fire tower. it is on mill brook road.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

the trail on the east side is really obscured by countless fake trails, none are hard but many go through campsites.

Came in from balsam side easy blue to red 1/2 mile up and then level off not bad to tower ok views left car at 3 up and back 415 there is definitely better hikes but doing the fire tower challenge

Not a bad hike. Trails were muddy in spots but overall well maintained. Hike is mostly forested so the only views were from the fire tower and a brief spot towards the lean to. Took around 3 hours round trip moved a little slower because I was playing with some maps and a new compass.

Beautiful forest setting but if you're looking for views there are none here. Unless of course you climb the fire tower which I didn't due to my fear of heights! I would use gaiters if you plan on hiking, trail is very overgrown.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

loved it

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Did this hike on Sunday, July 2, 2017. Arrived at the DEC parking lot at 9am, 4 other cars in the lot.

Took the trail from the DEC parking lot at the end of Beaverkill Road. Made the left turn up the Red blazed steeper trail at the first junction that goes past the lean-to and the natural spring. I'm a beginner hiker (38 years old, decent shape) and found it strenuous but very doable. Just past the spring it evens out into a serene forest until you emerge to the tower (there's a volunteer up there who will take you to the very top and give you some background). Used the much more gradual (and longer) blue blazed trail to return to the parking lot.

All told, including checking out the lean-to, a couple breath-catching breaks, and a good 20 minutes in the firetower, the hike took about 2.5 hours. Bugs weren't an issue and only encountered three other souls on the trail. The view from the firetower was incredible. And for what its worth, I drank half a gallon of water from the spring and was totally fine, in case you were wondering if it was drinkable.

Wear mud boots. For more challenging hike, take blue trail down past first tower trail,then back up red loop, bring bug spray!

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

Great hike. A must visit!!

hiking
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Great trail
Fire tower was the goal and the view from there is fantastic
I would do this again for sure
The most difficult part was getting there the GPS sent us in a very indirect way and then just stopped navigating about a mile down Dry Bridge Rd

hiking
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Super easy trail, well marked and well maintained as of spring 17'. Very relaxing

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

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