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There are a few different ways to reach the Balsam Lake Fire Tower. I hiked from Mill Brook Road to reach this Fire Tower. This route does not pass the lake known as Balsam Lake. That direct route starts at Beaverkill Road. I recommend the website of CatskillHiker and CatskillMountaineer for further information for this hike and other routes.
I wear a Garmin GPS device so I know the distance I walked was just over 6 miles. The total time for the trip was 3 hours and 30 minutes. I take a lot of photos and spent well over an hour at the top enjoying the view. As always it is much easier coming down the mountain then going up. The first 3/4 miles of trail was steeper than expected. This steepness also is an initial let down thinking that this might be tougher than initially thought. However after 3/4 mile the jeep trail levels out nicely and it is a gentle hike until you reach a gate. The gate is located at just over 2 miles and it attempts to block motorized vehicles from accessing the Fire Tower. At this point you leave the jeep trail and hike mostly upwards until you reach the Fire Tower.
Overall this trail is easy.
If you view my tracklog at the link below I think 2 hours 18 minutes is a correct measuring time for hiking with a view from the Fire Tower and hiking back to your vehicle parked at Mill Brook Road.
Enjoy the view at the top and pictures along the way: 3 hours 30 minutes.
Link to my tracklog at ‘All Trails’:
Balsam Lake Fire Tower
View from the Fire Tower
View from the Balsam Lake Fire Tower (iPhone)
Balsam Lake Fire Tower Trail
Leaving the Jeep Trail
Mill Brook Road (Driving Home)
Outside Recommended Links:
Catskill Fire Towers – Balsam Lake Mountain Trail Map
Balsam Lake Mountain and Fire Tower
Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Observation Station
CatskillHiker.com- Balsam Lake Fire Tower
Balsam Lake Firetower