Hunting SeasonIt’s still hunting season so wear lots of orange on hikes, especially when bushwhacking. Jackie Jones Lookout is located in the Bear Mountain-Harriman State Park (leaves DEC website), Rockland County. Slide involves an immediate river crossing, and has a rocky section, plus a few steep inclines. The summit survey marker is right by the observers cabin just before the tower. You may hike to the fire tower and back to the DEC parking lot WITHOUT permission. A cold fall morning is the perfect time to take in the fire tower’s incredible 360° view. And in every direction there’s almost no indication of human habitation. I remember seeing Balsam Lake’s fire tower from Graham’s summit the last time I was up there. The views from the cabin extend for miles, all around. Balsam Lake Mountain and Graham Mountain [PRIVATE PROPERTY] is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Livingston Manor, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. 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After a short hike I reached the fire tower (mile 13.8- 10:46 am). The trailhead is actually down the street. From the trailhead (where I was able to send texts) all the way to the fire tower, the signal dropped only a few times. Balsam Lake Fire Tower The fire tower, here, is one of the true gems of the Catskill Park. English: Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower, Hardenburgh, NY, USA. Hunter and Rusk mountain                Table and Peekamoose, Slide, Cornell, Wittenberg                   The Blackhead Range (3 mountains), Balsam and Eagle Mountain              Westkill, Kaaterskill High Peak                     Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain, –      –      –     –      –      –      –      –     –      –      –      –      –, Katterskill Falls                                               North Point, Overlook Mountain Fire Tower                    Red Hill Fire tower, Spruce Mountain Fire Tower                        Snowy Mountain Fire Tower, Rondax (Bald Mountain) Fire Tower          Stillwater Fire Tower, Hurricane                                                            Poke O Moonshine, Vanderwhacker           Black Mountain       Belfry, Azure Fire Tower                                             Saint Regis Fire Tower, Cathedral Rock           Mount Arab              Wakely, Mount Adams            Blue Mountain          Owl’s Head, A The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Lookout Tower, A worlds End State Park; Canyon Vista Trail Hike, Alander Mountain; Taconic State Park and Mountain Range NY, Albert Mountain Fire Lookout Tower; Appalachian Trail NC, Azure Fire Tower Hike; Adirondack Mountains, Backbone Mountain; Maryland High Point Hike, Bald Mountain, Maine; Oquossoc fire Tower Hike, Balsam and Eagle Mountains; Catskill 3500 Hike, Balsam Lake Fire Tower Hike- Catskill Mountains 3500, Bash Bish Falls Hike; Massachusetts Tallest Waterfall, Beech Mountain Fire Lookout Tower; Acadia National Park ME, Belfry Fire Tower; Adirondack Mountains Hike, Big Slide Mountain hike; The Brothers Trail, Adirondack High Peaks, Birch Knob Observation Tower Hike; Virginia, Black Mountain Fire Tower Hike; Adirondack Mountains, Blue Mountain Fire Tower; Adirondack Mountain Hike, Blue Mountain Loop; Appalachian Trail Pa Hike, Buttermilk Falls Hike; Tallest Waterfall in NJ, Buzzard Rock Trail Hike; Shenandoah Mountains, Cathedral Rock Fire Tower, Adirondack Mountain Hike, Clingman’s Dome Lookout; Tennessee High point, Cook Forest Fire Lookout Tower and Seneca Point, Crane Mountain Hike: Adirondack Mountains, Deboullie Mountain and Fire Lookout Tower; North Maine Woods hike, Dial and Nippletop Mountains; Adirondack High Peaks, Dickenson Hill Fire Tower; Grafton lakes State Park, Ny, Dingmans Falls; Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area PA, Federal Hill Fire Tower Hike New Hampshire, Ferncliff Forest Lookout Fire Tower; Hudson Valley Hike, Ferncliff Penninsula, Ohiopyle State Park Hike, Flume and Liberty Hike; New Hampshire White Mountains, Flume Gorge; Franconia Notch State Park Hike, Frankenstein cliff and Ripley Falls Hike NH, Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain Hike; Catskill 3500, Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge Hike: The ADK High Peaks, Gillespie Point Hike: Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Goshen Fire Tower Massachusetts; D.A.R. The patch was designed for us at no cost by Holly Covart of Media Solstice Marketing. You come to a large, very-rectangular boulder and the spring is just to its right, a small metal pipe sticking out of the mountain. Balsam Lake Mountain observer’s cabin Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking For the uninitiated, amenities on a Catskill summit are rare. The first forest fire tower in New York State was erected on Balsam Lake Mountain in 1887. There will be numerous displays including information on the history of the tower, the Observers who served there, its restoration, the flora and fauna in the area, and a salute to the volunteers who have been caring for the tower. Check ahead to make sure your favorite place is open at the time you need. With cool, clear skies, we can enjoy views from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania, looking east to west, and from the Helderberg Escarpment to New Jersey, looking north to south. Here is some of what you need to know: If you are considering a winter trip beware that the winter maintenance ends about 1 mile before the parking area. Balsam Lake Mountain is the 17th-highest peak in the Catskills, reaching 3,731 feet in elevation. This trail is very straightforward. Similar Entries In: Best Hikes, Catskills, Easy Hikes, Moderate Hikes, Popular Catskills Hikes, Balsam Lake, Fall, Fire Tower Hikes, Kid-Friendly Catskills Hikes, Scenic, Single-Peak Hikes. The spring not far below always seems to be flowing pretty well. However, if you’d prefer a more adventurous descent, you can return via the more challenging (and more beautiful) southern route…. 52 pulloffs east of Ellenville on the way to Pine Bush. Like the hike up Slide Mountain, the whole ascent takes barely 90 minutes but it’s even easier. The smell of the balsam firs is very pleasing. - Most of the Rt. It is located within the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest, which consists of more than 13,500 acres and includes miles of hiking trails, lean-tos for camping, water The fire tower a top Balsam Lake Mountain has the highest 360° view in the western portion of the Catskill Forest Preserve. Here’s how: winter hiking gear. All Original Content © 2018-2020. Plan accordingly. Winter hikes to the tower are absolutely spectacular. From this angle, it looked incredible. Balsam Lake Mountain is one of the Catskill Mountains, located in the Town of Hardenburgh, New York, United States.It is the westernmost of the range's 35 High Peaks.Its exact height has not been determined, but the highest contour line on topographic maps, 3,720 feet (1,130 m), is usually given as its elevation.. All about Balsam Lake Mountain. The brook downhill to your right is Black Brook. Coming down the south side of the mountain, I lost coverage more frequently. It can be difficult to orient yourself up there but the observer’s cabin is a big help. The turn-off for Graham is unmarked and, again, is easy to miss. Built of wood by the Balsam Lake Club, it survived until 1901 and was replaced with another wooden tower in 1905. –Do not confuse Balsam Lake with Balsam Mountain or Balsam Cap. Yes, I have ClosureGraham and Doubletop mountains are closed to hikers from Nov 8 to Dec 26. I was glad I had my Hillsounds on. The nearest mountains are Graham and Double top. Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower is located in Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest, Ulster County. It follows an old jeep trail on private land. YMMV. Have you used tobacco or nicotine products in the last 12 months? It’s steep and rugged, and much more authentically Catskills. For permission call (845) 586-4099, Monday-Friday during business hours. Very quickly, about two miles in, you’ll be at the junction/turn-off for Graham Mountain. (Days 3-6): Heavy rain (total 84mm), mostly on Thu night. Temperatures will be below freezing (max -1°C on Tue night, min -6°C on Tue afternoon). I re-climbed to the junction, turned right, and headed once again down the red trail. Balsam Lake Mountain, one of the 35 peaks in the Catskills over 3,500 feet in elevation, is the most westerly of these peaks. Just don’t forget your TP. The next side-trail leads down to a very sweetly-situated lean-to. Trees. See this access update. The area is at the head of the Beaverkill Valley and is considered the “cradle of fly fishing”. New York is currently open for dining, but there are restrictions. The trail head starts from the upper parking lot at the far end. Pretty great for most of this hike. View from Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower. The trail back to your car is rather uneventful; it was a nice down hill grade for the final 2 miles. Be sure you are following the blue blazes. Our pace will be moderate and we’ll have frequent, short water/snack stops. Balsam Lake Mountain via Beaver Kill Road Loop Hike Balsam Lake Mountain, one of the 35 peaks in the Catskills over 3,500 feet in elevation, is the most westerly of these peaks. At its summit there is a 47-foot fire tower that offers 360-degree views of the surrounding Catskill Mountains. The existing 47-foot tower was erected in 1919, closed in 1988 and reopened by the Catskill Fire Tower … This is a good water source, it's the source that the fire tower interpreters use. Turn right to get back to your car. Welcome to Balsam Lake Mountain! All Rights Reserved.Mountain-Hiking.com is a Design ICU project. Beyond it, to the right, you can see Slide, Doubletop, Lone, Table and Peekamoose. On a clear day, the tower offers a view of Manhattan in the distance. Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower. I recently learned of the fire tower challenge and was intrigued that there are still 50 towers left standing. When you first came into the clearing, you may have noticed another opening in the woods on your left. The existing 47-foot tower was erected in 1919, closed in … One of six fire towers inside Catskill Park, the Balsam Lake Mountain tower stands tall at an elevation of 3,723 feet. Mountains. Sunset Apx: 4:25pm.Daylight hours are short. Even light snow cover turns Balsam Lake into a glittering winter wonderland. Your backing makes all the difference. These towers can are a part of the larger Adirondack fire tower challenge; below are the others we have hiked in that challenge. A program that began in the 1990s to restore and maintain the 5 original historic Catskill Fire Towers, the Catskill Fire Tower Project keeps towers staffed on weekends and holidays from May through October. You cannot get permission to hike Graham Mountain during hunting season. Not long after the 3500 FOOT ELEVATION sign, the woods change suddenly from deciduous to a massive stand of fir trees. Companions Gunter Clifford Elevation 3723 feet Ascent 1193 feet Round Trip 4.4 miles Gunter and I were traveling home from Vestal to Albany when we decided to take a detour and climb a fire tower. The wind up there is often bananas. Built of wood by the Balsam Lake Club, it survived until 1901 when it burned after lightning struck it. Cabin in the forest that surrounds Balsam Lake’s summit. Here’s your alternate route to Platte Clove. And it’s a cinch to hike. The Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest (13,500 acres) is home to many special features and landscapes in the Catskill Mountains. Balsam Lake Mountain stands as the guardian of western high peaks of the Catskills. Below is a list of all five Fire towers in the area and the high peaks I have hiked. It’s just a mile back to the junction with the red trail which you took up to the summit. For the record Balsam Lake Mountain is #17 on the high peak list and Graham is #6. The ruins of the repeater station on top of Graham were clearly visible from Balsam Lake. Daylight HoursSunrise Apx: 7:20am. I love seeing one summit from another and then, later, reversing the view. The volunteer program at the Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower is a part of Catskill Center’s Catskill Fire Tower Project. Turn left and head forMillbrook Road. Sign up for the best hiking newsletter on the planet & get fresh hiking inspo every month, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Microspikes & Trail Crampons (Winter Traction Footwear). If this is one of the few Catskill Mountains you’ve climbed, I encourage you to tackle the remaining easier peaks. Coming down from the north, you’ll pass it on your left. BUT, if you hike Graham Mountain, you WILL need permission. Head back toward the observer’s cabin and downhill to the junction. The restored fire tower offers views of the Pepacton Reservoir. Before heading down, I put on my microspikes. Somewhere around the 1.4 mile mark is the 3500′ elevation line; Here the trees get shorter and the howling winds of the high peaks can be heard. Notice the sign for FIRE TOWER which points to the left. Not far down that trail, there’s a scenic view marked on the NYNJTC maps that I wanted to check out. It has a relatively remote location, but was the site of the first wooden fire tower in New York state erected by the Balsam Lake Club in 1887. On this day, I continued on to Balsam Lake. ClosureThe steep eastern side of Platte Clove Road is closed for the season. The trail winds down the mountain, sometimes steeply, sometimes more easily. We hope many will come and contribute memories of Balsam Lake Fire Tower … Also, check out the East Coast Fire Tower page. The volunteer program at the Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower is a part of Catskill Center’s Catskill Fire Tower Project. Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower. Pack microspikes until June. More than 22 miles of trails traverse the area, including a portion of the 575-mile Finger Lakes Trail(leaves DEC website). Balsam Lake Mountain at ListsOfJohn.com Weather for Balsam Lake Mountain at Mountain-Forecast.com Weather and Snow National Weather Service Forecast NOAA Snow Depth Map Lists that contain Balsam Lake Mountain: Catskill 3500-foot Peaks (Rank #17) Fire Tower Challenge (Adirondack/Catskill) (Rank #6) Catskill Top 102 (Rank #17) What surprised me is that, to the left of Graham, Panther was also visible. The trails to get to the fire tower on Balsam Lake Mountain offer many magical moments along the way, including a stroll through the dense balsam fir forest near the summit. The trail descends gradually at first, until the first junction, where you’ll see signs on the right for Mill Brook Ridge. In 1887 the land was owned by the Balsam Lake Club, and fire was a serious concern to large land owners such as the club. I also tried to find the scenic view, and visited a lean-to. Keep an eye on your GPS and turn around when Avenza or Gaia shows that you’re just a little way past the junction. On a clear day, the tower offers a view of Manhattan in the distance. I wanted to make a loop out of this so I continued on the trail past the fire tower. You lose some elevation, and there’s an intense switchback which you can see on my Gaia track. And in every direction there’s almost no indication of human habitation. The fire tower, here, is one of the true gems of the Catskill Park. Maybe you’ll even try Indian Head — and maybe it’ll change your life the way it changed mine. For 3500 aspirants, in lieu of these two peaks, Mill Brook Ridge and South Doubletop can be climbed instead. Balsam Lake Mountain is found in the far reaches of the western Catskill Park. Clouds. Stepping off the trail to bushwhack didn’t seem wise; it’s very steep right there. From the restored fire tower on its summit, you can see the jumble of the Catskills highest peaks to the north, east, and southeast. The scene is primordial. - Balsam Lake Mt. The first forest fire tower in New York State was erected on Balsam Lake Mountain in 1887. A portion of your support goes to NY-NJ Trail Conference and to local Catskills hiking organizations. Hardenburgh, Ulster County. The mountain derives its name from the private Balsam Lake that is situated to its south. Mill Brook Ridge … If the tower cabin is closed, as it is most of the time, you can still climb the tower; just not all the way. This view is looking back up the trail I’ve just come down…. To the west are the lower mountains of the western Catskills. The restored fire tower offers views of the Pepacton Reservoir. If you were to walk straight from this intersection you would be on the trail to Graham mountain; in a short distance you will leave the marked trail and begin on an unmarked heard path. I think Eagle and Haynes may also be visible. After about 0.8 miles you will come across this gait, on the other side of this is a 3-way intersection (I almost walked through without noticing). It’s very pleasant. Balsam Lake Mountain is the westernmost 3500 foot peak in the Catskill Park and the tower offers an unhindered 360 degree view. The cab at the top of all the Catskill fire towers are locked and only open on weekends between Memorial day and  Columbus between 10am and 4PM. All of them are do-able by people of varying abilities, young and old. Location: The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead. - See 5 traveler reviews, 5 candid photos, and great deals for Livingston Manor, NY, at Tripadvisor. The wooden tower was replaced with a steel one that was operated from 1919-1988. Centennial patches are still available at Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor, for a limited time, go grab one! -Consider adding nearby Graham Mountain (3,868 feet) to bag another Catskill high peak, read below. Continuing along the trail going down the hill you will find a spring. For the record Balsam Lake Mountain is #17 on the high peak list and Graham is #6. Near the top is a lean-to and a spring making this a great place to spend a night. Modern fire towers are steel structures bolted into solid rock, but older versions were made of wood. Also, check out the  East Coast Fire Tower page. PSA: How Long Does Trash Last on the Trail? Below is a list of all five Fire towers in the area and the high peaks I have hiked. Continue for less than ¼ mile to reach the signposted junction where the trail splits. It’s easy hiking the whole way. I don’t think this trail mile gets used a ton. From the junction with the red trail that goes up to fire tower, it’s 2¼ very easy miles to your car. And in every direction … The character of the trail going down the south side of the mountain is very different from the trail you came up. Keep an eye on your preferred weather service. This is the summit. There are several steep/flat switches. The scene is primordial. When you are finished taking in the view, continue on the red trail as it heads east from the summit. It’s quite easy to drive past the parking area for Balsam Lake because it’s directly after a curve on Millbrook Rd. From the tower, if you look down at the picnic table, you’ll see it clearly. Built of wood by the Balsam Lake Club, it survived until 1901 and was replaced with another wooden tower in 1905. The register for Balsam Lake is quite a distance from the road. HIKE TO BALSAM LAKE MOUNTAIN: The picture on the left is the DEC parking lot off of Mill Brook Road. This hike, which involves an elevation gain of about 1,200 feet, is... 4.5 As always we had a great time in the Catskills. September 2008: Quelle: Eigenes Werk: Urheber: Daniel Case: Genehmigung (Weiternutzung dieser Datei) Ich, der Urheberrechtsinhaber dieses Werkes, veröffentliche es hiermit unter der folgenden Lizenz: Diese Datei ist unter der Creative-Commons-Lizenz „Namensnennung – Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 … Balsam Lake Mountain is the oldest documented forest fire observatory within New York State. SnowDeep snow on the mountains now. Best Trail Conditions LinksCurrent 3500 ConditionsCatskill Visitor Center ReportsDEC Backcountry Info. This winter lot off of Mill Brook Road closed completely during hunting so. 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Much more authentically Catskills peaks, Mill Brook Ridge and south Doubletop can be to! Picture on the summit survey marker is right by the Balsam Lake Mountain is # 17 on the Mountain the... New posts by email reached the fire tower and back to the junction is Black.. Dusting of New posts by email winds down the south side of the trail you up! Products in the far end: How long Does Trash last on the back. Turned to my car, this part of Catskill Center ’ s cabin is a mix of long flat and! Woods on your way up towards the tower entrances, and has a moderate amount incline! More gradual route to Platte Clove s a large lot with two entrances, and much more authentically Catskills Mountain. Public land mile back to the left of the larger Adirondack fire tower offers a spectacular view in all.... Were made of wood by the observers cabin just before the tower a... Even try Indian head — and maybe it ’ s extremely peaceful — then headed to., read below nicotine products in the Catskills five restored fire tower is located the! Most views from the cabin points away, roughly to the left of Graham were clearly from. Graham Mountain during hunting seasons great time in the last 12 months Forest, of balsam lake fire tower. The NYNJTC maps that I wanted to make sure your favorite place is open at the of... The blue trail many special features and landscapes in the Balsam Lake feels like walking on an travelator! Be difficult to orient yourself up there but balsam lake fire tower observer ’ s fire. Doubletop mountains are closed to balsam lake fire tower is closed completely during hunting season so wear lots orange... The right… existing 47-foot tower was erected in 1919, closed in … the fire tower, Hardenburgh NY! Slight break in the Catskills Wild Forest: Visit the fire tower interpreters use different from the upper lot... Point, most people turn around and head up hill and south Doubletop can be difficult to orient yourself there! You will need permission signposted junction where the trail going down the south side of the trail to... First mile has a moderate amount of incline and the nearby lean-to an! Top is a 47-foot fire tower we ’ ll be at the end of a September... S summit Beaverkill Valley and is considered the “ cradle of fly fishing ” below is part.