Sunday, October 13, 2013

Balsam and Belleayre Mountains, Catskills

October 13, 2013
Distance: 7.2 miles
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Map: Catskill Trails Map Set

Parking: Rider Hollow Road, Mapledale, NY. Room for around 10 cars.
Restrooms: None
Notes: Catskill 3500 footer (#24)
Post hike dinner: Garden Cafe on the Green, Woodstock

Parking area is at the end of the road. 
Walk past the gate, following the red blazed Oliverea Mapledale trail.
When you hit the yellow trail, stay right on the red blazed Oliverea trail. 
Pass the Rider Hollow shelter.
The trail crosses a stream several times (the dogs were so happy!).
After the trail leaves the stream, climb steeply.
Turn left on the blue blazed PW trail (the sign for the intersection is quite high).
Climb to the summit of Balsam (no view).
Continue past Balsam where there is a view.
Continue down the mountain.
Where you meet with yellow trail, stay right on the PW trail, which starts out nice and flat.
It climbs, but only in spurts, up to the summit of Belleayre Mountain.
The summit is a meadowlike area. Note where you came from so you can return that way.
There is no view here (though you can continue to the ski area for views).
Return down the blue blazed trail.
Turn right on the yellow blazed Mine Hollow trail, which descends steeply.
Turn right on the red blazed Oliverea Mapledale trail.

Year to date miles: 323.2

Trailhead at parking lot

The first bridge crossing. Nice sturdy bridge!
The trail past beyond this bridge has been re-routed since the last time we hiked here.

Turn right here to do a counter clockwise loop.

The second bridged crossing.
There were also a few non-bridged crossings which were easy now because of low water levels.
I seem to remember when we hiked this in winter, the stream crossings were more difficult.

The dogs loved the first mile of this hike - they were in and out of the stream constantly.

Approximate location of summit (no sign)

Hazy day, past peak color

View past Balsam

At this intersection you can return to your car, or continue to Belleayre Mountain

Summit of Belleayre Mountain


  1. I really enjoyed your website and the photos. Just thought you'd like to know that the actual summit of Belleayre is not located at the former firetower site. The true summit is a bit over a mile to the north-west. Not a big deal unless you're peakbagging! :-)