Remember: The safest place right now is at home.
August 11, 2019
Catskill Balsam Mountain Loop (8/10/2019)
Beautiful thick forest, one lovely viewpoint. Lost cell reception before we made it to the parking area so a hard copy/offline map is a good idea. Decided to do the loop clockwise so the doggo could cool his paws in the stream crossings at the end of the hike. He approved. It was very peaceful until we heard the barrage of shots from what we assume is a local firing range. Doggo was not amused. No port-a-potties at this parking area but room for a dozen or so cars.
October 15, 2013
Balsam and Bellayre
Lovely hike. We did the route counter clockwise as described, but added on Belleayre Mountain, making it a 7.2 mile hike. Not many people on the trail, especially for a weekend. The stream crossings were easy at this time of year, with the low water levels. Some photos: http://www.agiletrekker.blogspot.com/2013/10/balsam-and-belleayre-mountains-catskills.html
October 04, 2013
I hiked this yesterday and as Jeff mentioned, trail crews have indeed been busy! All of the trails described in this hike are clear, well-defined and well-marked even all the way out to Belleayre Mountain. Thanks Jeff and trail crew for making this a very enjoyable hike! Your hard work is very much appreciated. Here are pictures of the hike: http://gonehikin.blogspot.com/2013/10/catskill-park-ny-balsam-and-bellea...
January 23, 2013
Balsam Mountain Conditions 1/19/13
Please see my full trail report on the forum for the lowdown! http://nynjtc.org/forum/trail-conditions
August 27, 2012
Hi - thank you for the information on the condition of Trail Markers along the Mapledale-Oliverea Trail and the Pine Hill-West Branch Trail. I will forward this information on to our Trails Chair and Trail Supervisor for this section and they will follow up with the Trail Maintainers to make sure that we check it out and get the trails properly marked. For some background, these trails were only recently adopted by the Trail Conference. We spent all of last summer and a good part of this spring with trail maintenance crews clearing out the Pine Hill-West Branch Trail and the Mapledale-Oliverea Trail, as they had suffered from years of little or no maintenance. In addition, the damage from Hurricane Irene to the Mapledale-Oliverea Trail was significant both at the Rider Hollow and the McKinley Hollow ends. The NY State DEC has been working on several trail relocations in this area and that may be one cause of the lack of trail markers. Thank you for the info, if you have any other questions about Catskill Mountain trails, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. Jeff Senterman - Catskill Mountain Region Program Coordinator for the Trail Conference
August 23, 2012
Balsam Mountain, Aug. 23, 2012
WHAT a gorgeous hike! My husband and i are so glad we did this, even though i lost my lovely NYNJTC topo map somewhere along the way (we had Daniel's great written description, so we were in no trouble.) But here's something everyone should know: The red trail at the beginning is badly and sparsely marked. Also, the stream is almost bone-dry so we weren't too sure when we had crossed it "four times." Also, the blue trail is VERY badly and sparsely marked; in a few places, we had to split up and walk in different directions till one of us found a blaze and called to the other. At one point you're supposed to turn right on the blue trail, but the two blue blazes on a tree clearly are oriented so that they "point" you to the left. A kind hiker had tried to help by folding the top blaze, which is to the LEFT of the lower one, over upon itself so you don't turn left there. It was pretty obvious that you couldn't walk more than a few feet to the left without running into a thick stand of brush, though, so that wasn't too, too, too, too scary. I recently took one of the Trail Conference's great seminars on trail-blazing and hereby volunteer to help reblaze this trail; however, i live in Newburgh and work fulltime, so i'm hoping someone else who's up in that area more and/or has more time, will step forward and do this.
July 01, 2012
My husband, friend and I went to Balsam Mountain today to beat the heat in NYC, and this hike did not disappoint. The trail was well-shaded, taking us through unusually lush forest, including a section along a pretty stream near the beginning of the hike. Highlights included the nicely framed view just beyond the summit, and an absolutely gorgeous hemlock grove along the Mine Hollow Trail. And one of the best parts was that it was a full 20-25 degrees cooler than in the City - no joking!