Alder Lake Loop

Catskill Park, New York

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Alder Lake Loop

Alder Lake Loop is a hiking trail in Town of Hardenburgh, New York. It is within Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest and Catskill Park. The Piped Spring can be seen along the trail. There are also a camp site and a picnic site along the trail.

Alder Lake Loop Professional Reviews and Guides

"Once you manage to find the trailhead among the secluded back roads of the western Catskills, this snowshoe route is one of the easiest and most scenic in the region. It traces a loop around a man-made lake that was part of the Coykendall Estate. Except for the initial climb up to the lodge, this route contains no significant ups or downs. There is room for several cars to park beside Alder Creek Road, where a sign marks access to the Forest Preserve. The hike begins along the unplowed access road, which climbs only 100 feet along the side of the hill to a large clearing. Here you will find the foundations of several buildings and the summer trailhead just beyond."

"The toughest part of this trip is getting to the trailhead. If your car can manage the rutted, country back roads that lead to the gate near secluded Alder Lake, you can breathe a sign of relief. The hike around the lake is the easy part! What a delightful place to spend an afternoon—or a weekend!

Begin near the old, abandoned mansion that once offered lodging to visiting city folks and work your way around the lake, passing frequent campsites and access points to the water. Along the northern shore, the kids have many opportunities to visit the water and search for newts and frogs, whirligig beetles and water striders. Though the trail is somewhat indistinct in places, you won’t get lost if you remember to keep the water on your left."

Alder Lake Loop Reviews

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My dog and I hiked this on a late summer afternoon and it was lovely. Lots of water for him to swim in, the giant ferns along the trail stood 4 ft tall, and the views across the lake were lovely. Plans to preserve Coykendall Lodge failed and all that remains are the old stone uprights. Children would find this an easy hike to do.
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The 1.5 mile Alder Lake loop trail is flat and very easy to negotiate. Take time to look at the dam and the mansion at the east end of the lake. Both were constructed at the turn of the century by shipping tycoon Samuel Coykendall. A more interesting challenge lies at the west end of the lake. Here the yellow-blazed Millbrook Ridge trail leads to Balsam Lake Mt with its state fire tower. This is a difficult 6 mile hike with some real climbs along the way. If you don't want to go all the way to the tower you can turn around at several spots. After about 1.5 miles of gentle uphill walking, you will come to the Beaver Meadow Lean-to and spring. Another 2.5 miles of hiking over some rather steep areas, brings you to a lookout above Beecher Lake. There is a Zen monastery on its shores.

Alder Lake Loop Photos

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Trail Information

Catskill Park
Nearby City
Catskill Park
Catskill Park
Local Contacts
NY-NJ Trail Conference Map 42
Local Maps