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Catskills 3500 Series - Balsam Lake Fire-tower & Graham Mt.


Catskill 3500 Series

Balsam Lake & Graham Mountains


Any sign of Rain and I will cancel or move to a different  date

Total Mileage: 10 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 2000 feet
Estimated Hike Time: 6 hours
Special Gear / Requirements: Cold weather wicking clothing & insulating layers, waterproofing layer, puffy coat for stoppages, boot traction (snowshoes and microspikes TBD), food/water as you feel is appropriate, first aid, trail conference map #142, camera!

Who's Organizing?
Richard -Black Ops

Meetup Times and Locations:
9:00am - Mill Brook Road Parking



Getting there: Take the New York State Thruway to exit 19: Kingston. Keep right for Route 28 west. After 35 miles turn left into the entrance road to Belleayre Ski Area (county route 49A).  Pass all of the Belleayre parking entrances, staying on 49A for about 5.5 miles.  Turn left on county route 49 and go about 1.4 miles then turn right by the old barn on Mill Brook Road - go 2.2 miles to the parking lot on the right.

Route description: 10 miles distance, 2000 feet of total elevation gain.  We go up the Dry Brook Ridge Trail (blue) just over 2 very gentle miles to a junction then turn right on the Balsam Lake Mountain Trail (red) trail which we take steeply 3/4 of a mile to the fire tower.  Back down the red and rejoin blue until we come upon a old woods road on the right which we follow nearly two miles to the summit of Graham.  Back down the woods road, right on blue back to the cars.

Route Map (from the north):



NOTE: You are responsible for bringing appropriate gear, supplies, clothing, first aid, and lights. You should review topographic maps and trail features carefully; understanding topography of any hike is key to your knowing where you are, where you're going, and how to get back.

See suggestions for GEAR on the "About" page for additional gear ideas.


You agree when you sign up for this group or any of the events that you have read and understand the below.

If you join us for a hike (or any other event), please understand that you are responsible for your own preparedness and well-being and will hold no one else liable in case of injury or mishap. You agree not to hold the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, or any other members responsible for any injuries, mishaps, or any other situation that may happen at a planned event. You are responsible to research the event, know the area, and bring the proper gear.

Your attendance on a hike signifies that you have read and accept the terms of this liability waiver.
Full waiver can be found on the ABOUT page.

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  • Keith

    By the way, on the way home, I stopped at this place in Tannersville called Twin Peaks for some coffee and had one of the best donuts I've ever had the pleasure of eating. It's on Main St. (just a bit east of the Last Chance Cafe), and I stopped in just to get a coffee to go, but my will power caved when I saw that they had homemade donuts, made to order. I had one with some caramel and sea salt on it and it was so warm and delicious that I basically inhaled it. Very good stuff, if you ever get the chance to try it (the coffee was pretty good, too).

    March 23, 2014

  • Keith

    A great day in the great outdoors - I got a good dose of exercise on this 10 miler. As an added bonus, the third time was the charm for me, as this was the third time I've done these two High Peaks, but the first time the conditions/weather cooperated enough for me to enjoy the views. Not to mention the fact that the trail conditions were about as good as can be expected this time of year. Thanks for posting this, Richard, and for giving me an excuse to get out and about on a lovely day . . .

    March 23, 2014

  • Richard

    The bluebirds were out at the Fire-tower this morning but not so much on to the summit of Graham Mt.

    March 23, 2014

  • Erica

    Hello all, I would love to come but I don't have hiking shoes w spikes can I still come?

    March 22, 2014

    • Keith

      My guess is that microspikes, if not snowshoes, will be needed. You might want to try emailing Richard through the "send email" link on his profile page to ask him (he may not have seen your comment).

      March 22, 2014

    • Richard

      I'm sure we can work something out! I have a pair of 4 points you can use.

      March 22, 2014

  • Richard

    Hi Laurie , Looks like your signed up for two events on the same day!

    1 · March 19, 2014

    • Richard

      This will be a very comfortable pace hike , 1400 feet of elevation to the tower over 3 miles so its kind of like the overlook fire-tower hike. Not sure of the trail conditions so I'm guessing hard and soft pace snow, so this will require having Micro-spikes at the least. If you have snowshoes I would bring them also. you can call me if you need more info.

      March 22, 2014

    • Susan H.

      I just realized this is a walking on ice hike. It sounds great -- I'd live to do it -- but I don't have the nec equipment. Ill wait till it all melts -- in June!

      March 22, 2014

  • Richard

    Moving hike to Sunday

    March 21, 2014

  • Laurie C.

    Oh gosh! Sorry, my bad for some reason I had it down this was Sun. Sadly I've got a cold and may not get out at all unless it turns around. Thanks for letting me know. I'll fix rsvp.

    March 20, 2014

2 went

  • Richard
    Black Ops 46er/35er, 500+ events, Assistant Organizer
  • Keith
    Herbert Van Horsenforth, W35er, 46er, 150+ events

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