Hike to Balsam Lake Fire Tower
New York › Balsam Lake Fire Tower Trail
Added by Rebecca Nichols
Pleasant year-round walk with spectacular views.
The trail starts across the street on an old Jeep trail. The registration box will be reached at 0.33 miles. You will continue to follow the Jeep trail and at about 2.10 miles you will reach a trail junction. Here you will turn right and about 200 feet ahead will be a gate. Continue past the gate. Eventually you will come to the Rangers Cabin with a view of the fire tower behind it.
Views in all direction include Double Top, Graham and Slide. All of those summits are included in the Catskill 3500 Club, which is climbing all the Catskills 35 peaks above 3500 feet.
Balsam Lake Fire Tower is also included in the Catskill Towers required for the Fire Tower Challenge. The other towers are Red Hill, Hunter, Tremper and Overlook.
- Sturdy Shoes
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Low Traffic Hike- Awesome Views!
Recently did this hike in early March. Although Upstate New York isn't the ideal destination during this time of year between snow melting and a mix between warm and cold weather, I did this hike on a Tuesday with some friends, and had the whole trail to ourselves. Really beautiful up top with the peak covered evergreens and several peaks seen especially to the South! Beware that the top inclosed lookout is locked unless a ranger is there working to operate (usually on weekends or peak season), but you can still climb the tower up to that point.
More Adventures Nearby
Visit the Vanderbilt Mansion
New York / Vanderbilt Mansion Parking
Once you are at the parking area you can choose to start the loop in either direction. I like the idea of leaving the Mansion for last so that is what I did.
Hike Constitution Marsh
New York / Constitution Marsh Parking
The parking area allows about 8 cars. From the parking area you will walk down Warren Landing Road approximately 0.5 mile to the Visitors Center. You will see a kiosk to your right.