Balsam Mountain – Catskills, NY

May 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm 2 comments

At 3602 feet, Balsam Mountain is the 28th highest of New York’s Catskill Mountains, and one of several with “Balsam” in the name.  Today, I led a hike for Schenectady ADK to enjoy early spring in the Catskills and the profusion of wildflowers we always find there this time of year.

It was a sunny and cool morning as 7 of us headed up the trail.  Early spring wildflowers were everywhere as we started up the Rider Hollow and Mine Hollow trails to Balsam’s long ridge.  In addition to red trillium and Dutchman’s breeches (shown below), we also saw trout lily, squirrel corn, spring beauty, blue cohosh, and a few others we couldn’t identify.

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After a steep climb, we found the nice view that has obviously been “maintained”, since it’s just over the state land line on private property.  This made a nice lunch spot, with the new greens of spring creeping up the slopes from the valley below.  Of course, no summit lunch would be complete without a cheeseburger.

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Reluctantly, we descended via the lush Rider Hollow trail and its babbling brook full of green moss-covered rocks.  The day had warmed up by now and the flowers were even more profuse on a sunny afternoon.

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A stop for ice cream on the way home made the day complete.  It was a great group and a great day.


Entry filed under: New York Summits.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. summitcheese  |  May 4, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Wow, it’s spring in the Catskills – beautiful photos. I’m still sloshing in snow 😦


  • 2. samh  |  May 4, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Yeah, snow here too. Intended to ski Chico Peak this weekend (Absaroka Range, Montana) with cheeseburger in hand but climbed an unnamed instead.

    Seeing the leaves, moss, and greenery of the East is a far-cry from the snowy, rocky slopes of my local ranges! Thanks for the trip report.


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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
May 2009
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