Catskill 3500: Mill Brook Ridge and Balsam Lake Mountain

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Today, we’ll hike by the stone ruins of an old Catskill mansion and circle around a picturesque lake. We’ll then  begin the ascent of Mill Brook Ridge, one of the Catskills’ 100 highest peaks. After traversing the ridge, we’ll continue climbing to Balsam Lake Mountain. It is home to one of only 5 remaining fire towers in the Catskill Park. If you climb all the way to the top, you will have unparalleled, 360-degree views of the entire region!

Balsam Lake Mountain is a required peak for Catskill 3500 Club Membership and #16 Catskill High Peak (elevation 3,729′).

Level: Challenging (Learn More)

Mileage: 13.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,725 feet


The North Face, UWS

Check-in Time: 6:15 am

Departure Time: 6:30 am

Return Time: Approximately 7:00 pm


Limited spots remaining

This trip has a $20 limited-capacity charge.

While COVID-19 remains a concern, we are limiting our van capacity to a 10-person maximum, including guides, and leaving the middle seat empty in each row. The trips have a $20 fee to accommodate the changes we need to make for the COVID protocol. The fees will only be in effect while we limit capacity on trips. Learn more about what we are doing to keep everyone safe.


  • Hiking boots (required)
  • Weather-appropriate, moisture wicking, athletic clothing (no cotton)
  • Wool or synthetic socks (no cotton)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses


  • Lunch
  • Ample snacks
  • At least three (3) liters of water
  • Backpack
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Extra layers to adjust for changing weather conditions
  • Extra pair of wool socks
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • A change of clothes for the ride back (optional)