From the Alder Lake parking area, we’ll hike 2.6 miles to the Beaver Meadow lean-to (via the Southern half of the Alder Lake loop). After a snack we’ll leave the trail and bushwhack 1.3 miles to Cradle Rock Ridge (3160 feet, Catskill Hundred Highest #68). After returning to the lean-to, and another snack, we’ll continue along the Mill Brook Ridge trail 5.4 miles to the junction with the Balsam Lake Mountain trail. Turning North .25 miles, we’ll summit Balsam Lake Mountain (3723 feet). After visiting the fire tower we’ll descend 1.75 miles to the Balsam Lake parking area. Our pace will be moderate and we’ll have frequent, short water/snack stops. This hike is listed as difficult because of its length (13 miles), the unpredictable nature of the bushwhack to Cradle Rock Ridge, and the steep terrain descending from Balsam Lake Mountain.
Event Duration: 13 miles, 9 hours
Level of Difficulty: Difficult, Bushwhack
Leaders: Marv Freedman
Bring: good hiking shoes, moisture wicking clothing, lunch, snacks, bug spray, plenty to drink (2 or 3 liters), map and compass (recommended), hiking poles (recommended)
Registration required by June 23. Register by contacting the leader. See below.
Group size is limited to 12, so register early.
Dogs allowed: Yes, only with permission of event leader
Additional Information: The area near Beaver Meadow may be very wet. The duration of this hike may vary significantly from the 9 hour estimate based on the pace of the group and how long we spend at the fire tower. For those working on the Catskill’s All Trails Challenge, this hike will complete the Mill Brook Ridge trail, and the Southern half of the Alder Lake Loop trail shown on NYNJTC Map 142. If there’s interest, we can also complete the Northern half of the Alder Lake Loop (adding 1.4 miles).
Questions about this event can be directed to: email and/or phone of event leader
Driving Directions: Meet at the Balsam Lake Trail parking area. Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/5TN7KagouEk
From Rt 17 Exit 96 in Livingston Manor: From South, turn Right on Debruce Rd to Old Rt 17; or from North, turn Right on White Roe Lake Rd to Old Rt 17. Follow Old Rt 17 about 1 mile North to Right on Beaverkill Rd (Rt 151). After 10.9 miles, turn Right to continue on Beaverkill Rd (now Rt 54). After 8.4 miles, turn Left on Turnwood Rd, and continue 1 mile to the Balsam Lake Trail parking area on the right. This will be the ending point of the hike. We’ll leave cars here, and shuttle to the Alder Lake parking area to start the hike.
From Margaretville or Andes, drive to the Shavertown Bridge on SR 30. Cross the bridge and immediately turn left (east) 1.9 miles to Barkaboom Rd. Turn southeast 6.3 miles to Beaverkill Rd. and follow directions above.
GPS coordinates: 42.024073, -74.599670