Summit of Graham

As if COVID could not make anything more weird. The Catskill 3500 Club has just announced that Doubletop and Graham Mountains will be closed to all hikers from November 8th to December 26th for the duration of hunting season. Given that the landowners have restricted the access to the peaks to people residing in local counties during COVID, the club has made temporary changes to membership climbs. Aspirants may climb Doubletop’s south peak for a…

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Beaver Meadow Lean-to

The Beaver Meadow Lean-to is one of the most perfectly placed lean-tos in the Catskills. With the front facing a beautiful beaver pond and spur ridges from Mill Brook and Cradle Rock Ridges as the backdrop, it provides the camper with a wonderfully serene spot to camp. The absence of trees between the lean-to and the pond allows for spectacular stargazing by the shelter fireplace. With that said, the lean-to constructed in 1997, is in…

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View of Alder Lake in the Catskills

Alder Lake is a beautiful lake nestled between Mill Brook Ridge and Cradle Rock Ridge. It is a moderate to heavily trafficked area located in the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest. It is ringed by a loop trail and many primitive campsites. The lake was once home to the almost 11,000 sq Coykendall Lodge which remains sit near the parking area. The lake was also for a time used by the Boy Scouts as a…

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Sign at junction with Alder Lake Loop and Mill Brook Ridge Trail

Mill Brook Ridge rises above the Alder, Beecher, and Balsam Lakes and gives access to Balsam Lake Mountain and Woodpecker Ridge. The summit gets its name after its most prominent point on the ridge and the highest of the Catskill 67 missing the 3500′ mark by a mere few feet. It can be climbed by trail on the Mill Brook Ridge Trail or bushwhacked, especially from Kelly Hollow. A great overnight is also possible! The…

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Long Path and Blue DEC Markers on Escarpment Trail

Backpacking the Windham High Peak – Blackhead Mountain Range loop makes for a wonderful 2 to a 3-day outing. Passing over 6-peaks and 3-subpeaks makes for a bumpy ride. There are abundant views on the entire route and you can find spots to camp that are not at a lean-to or designated campsite (aka primitive campsite). Sections of the trail can be arid, especially during summer so plan accordingly. If you do a true loop…

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Please note changes in access and rules for hiking and camping in the Adirondacks and Catskills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please act responsibly during this stressful period. Please read the DEC info carefully. Read more here!