Created from 6 pictures from Giant Ledge









Pick a Catskill 35 Peak:

Balsam Lake Mountain Catskill 35 Index CHH Index NJ1K Index Balsam Lake Mountain can be accessed from the Beaverkill Road, the Millbrook-Arena Road or from the Millbrook Ridge Trail from Alder Lake. The mountain has one of five reconstructed and maintained fire towers in the Catskill Park. The mountain can be hiked as an out-and-back or as a loop. Any of the loops can be done in either direction. Graham Mountain is often hiked in conjunction with Balsam Lake.



Trailhead Coordinates
Name Coordinates
Beaverkill Road (end) N42.0239 W74.5998
Millbrook Road N42.0706 W74.5737
Alder Lake N42.0499 W74.6827

Quick Look - Balsam Lake Loop from Beaverkill
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 4.3 mi. 1210 ft. N42.0458 W74.5944 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Park at the trailhead at the end of the Beaverkill Road. The public road dead ends at this spot and a private road continues to the Balsam Lake Lodge. Find the blue-blazed Dry Brook Ridge Trail and hike about .9 miles. At this point you can choose to turn left on the red-blazed balsam Lake Trail or continue straight ahead. The left is steeper and more challenging but a shorter way to the top. Straight ahead the ascent is longer but also gentler. I prefer to turn left at this first junction. After about .85 miles you will be at the summit. The fire tower at the top offers a spectacular view in all directions. Balsam Lake Mountain is the westernmost in the Catskill Park and the tower offers an unhindered 360 degree view. Continue on the trail for about .75 miles and you will rejoin the Dry Brook Ridge Trail. Turn right here and its 1.8 miles back to the trailhead. If you continue straight ahead at the first junction, you will make a left after another .9 miles. This is the other end of the red-blazed Balsam Lake Trail. The ascent to the top is .75 miles. At this point you continue down the steeper side for .85 miles. Here you join the Dry Brook Ridge Trail again. After a right turn you are back at the trailhead in about .9 miles.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image below is the vertical profile for the hike. It is slightly different than described above since it represents a hike covering both Balsam Lake and Graham Mountains.)


Quick Look - Balsam Lake Out and Back from Beaverkill (steep)
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 3.3 mi. 1171 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Park at the trailhead at the end of the Beaverkill Road. The public road dead ends at this spot and a private road continues to the Balsam Lake Lodge. Find the blue-blazed Dry Brook Ridge Trail and hike about .9 miles. At this point turn left on the red-blazed Balsam Lake Trail. After about .85 miles you will be at the summit. The fire tower at the top offers a spectacular view in all directions. Balsam Lake Mountain is the westernmost in the Catskill Park and the tower offers an unhindered 360 degree view. Retrace your steps back down the mountain to the Dry Brook Ridge Trail. After a right turn you are back at the trailhead in about .9 miles.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image above is the vertical profile for the out-and-back hike up the steep side)


Quick Look - Balsam Lake Out and Back from Beaverkill (gentle)
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 4.5 mi. 1142 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Park at the trailhead at the end of the Beaverkill Road. The public road dead ends at this spot and a private road continues to the Balsam Lake Lodge. Find the blue-blazed Dry Brook Ridge Trail and hike about 1.8 miles. At this point turn left on the red-blazed Balsam Lake Trail. After about .75 miles you will be at the summit. The fire tower at the top offers a spectacular view in all directions. Balsam Lake Mountain is the westernmost in the Catskill Park and the tower offers an unhindered 360 degree view. Retrace your steps back down the mountain to the Dry Brook Ridge Trail. After a right turn you are back at the trailhead in about 1.8 miles.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image above is the vertical profile for the out-and-back hike up the gentler side)


Quick Look - Balsam Lake Loop from Millbrook
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 6.7 mi. 1760 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Another route starts at the Millbrook Road trailhead. Find the blue-blazed Dry Brook Ridge Trail and hike for 2.2 miles. Make a right onto the red-blazed Balsam Lake Mountain trail and hike .85 miles to the Balsam Lake Mountain summit. To make the complete loop, continue on the Balsam Lake Mountain Trail for .75 miles. Make a left on the Dry Brook Ridge Trail. Hike 3.1 miles back to the parking area.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image above is the vertical profile for the loop hike in a counterclockwise direction.)


Quick Look - Balsam Lake Out and Back from Millbrook (gentle)
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.7 mi. 1462 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Another route starts at the Millbrook Road trailhead. Find the blue-blazed Dry Brook Ridge Trail and hike for 2.2 miles. Make a right onto the red-blazed Balsam Lake Mountain trail and hike .85 miles to the Balsam Lake Mountain summit. Retrace your way up the mountain by taking the Balsam Lake Trail .85 miles back to the Dry Brook Ridge trail. Make a left and hike 2.2 miles back to the parking area.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image above is the vertical profile for the out-and-back hike up the gentler side.)


Quick Look - Balsam Lake Out and Back from Millbrook (steep)
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.5 mi. 2107 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Another route starts at the Millbrook Road trailhead. Find the blue-blazed Dry Brook Ridge Trail and hike for 3.1 miles. Make a right onto the red-blazed Balsam Lake Mountain trail and hike .75 miles to the Balsam Lake Mountain summit. Retrace your way up the mountain by taking the Balsam Lake Trail .75 miles back to the Dry Brook Ridge trail. Make a left and hike 3.1 miles back to the parking area.

Catskill 35 peak map
(The image above is the vertical profile for the out-and-back hike up the steep side.)


Quick Look - Balsam Lake Mountain to Alder Lake
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.8 mi. 2628 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Balsam Lake Mountain can also be reached from Alder Lake along the MillBrook Ridge Trail.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image above is the vertical profile for the hike.)


Quick Look - Alder Lake to Balsam Lake Mountain
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.8 mi. 2948 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Balsam Lake Mountain can also be reached from Alder Lake along the MillBrook Ridge Trail.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image above is the vertical profile for the hike.)


Quick Look - Balsam Lake and Graham from Beaverkill
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 8.5 mi. 2291 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Balsam Lake can also be hiked with Graham Mountain. This shows the loop from the Beaverkill parking area.

Catskill 35 peak profile

(The image above is the vertical profile for the hike.)



Quick Look - Balsam Lake and Graham from Millbrook
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 10.4 mi. 2586 ft. N42 02.73 W74 53.70 GPSies

Catskill 35 peak map

Balsam Lake can also be hiked with Graham Mountain. This shows the loop from the Millbrook parking area.

Catskill 35 peak profile
(The image above is the vertical profile for the hike.)