Saturday, August 9, 2014

Graham Mountain and Balsam Lake Mountain

August 9, 2014
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 5 hours 28 minutes
Map: Catskill Trails Map Set

Year to date miles: 315.3

Parking: Room for around 8 cars
Restrooms: None
Notes: Catskill 3500 footers #32

Directions: Graham Mtn & Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower

Notes: Nice hike. The first 2 miles are on a wide jeep road, never too steep. The unmaintained path to Graham is easy to find, and the trail although overgrown is very easy to follow. Note: you must call ahead to get permission to hike up Graham, as it is on private land. We had plenty of daylight left, so we decided to hike up to Balsam Lake Mountain as well. This was the first 3500 footer we had very done. I'm sure it felt much easier today than the first time we hiked it (we are getting stronger). We were fortunate that there were a couple of volunteers who opened up the fire tower so you could go all of the way to the top. I'm not a big fan of climbing up fire towers, but seeing someone already up at the top gave me more courage to climb it. Plus it wasn't a windy day. I made it to the top :) Much better views on the top than on the ground! I donated some $ to help support the maintenance of the fire tower. Had fund talking to the volunteers who had a mini aussie with them.

A view of the herd path to the right (looking back).
i.e. it is a sharp left turn onto the herd path.

Obstructed view on the way up

Glen checking out the inside of the old  communications tower

It was buggy at the top, but a nice place to stop for a snack.

View from standing on a cinder block.

It's a short hike to the fire tower on Balsam Lake Mountain.

Stunning view from the fire tower

Glen and the dogs waiting below

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