Thru-Hike Doubletop, Graham & Balsam Lake

A long and difficult hike with new friends who made it so much fun. Contains everything you want in a hike. Plus one very steep descent. Plus a ton of elevation gain.

Hike Length: 10.1 miles (16.25 km)

Total Ascent: 3,378ft (1,030m)

Intensity: Hardest Catskills Hike

Route Type: Shuttle

Includes: Blazed Trail, Unmarked Trail, Herd Path, Easy Bushwhack, True Bushwhack, Stream Crossing

Parent Doubletop

Similar Entries In: Catskills, The Hardest Hikes, , , , , , , , , .

rock outcop

Rock outcrop in Seager, NY

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 A direct route from Seager to Balsam Lake, requires a short car shuttle.

Hiking Trail Description

This hike had it all: stream crossings, herd paths, bear prints, a canister, a memorably steep descent, a true bushwhack, a rugged ascent, an ice grotto, some old ruins and, to top it all off, a fire tower with amazing sunset views.

Our group of four met at the DEC lot on Mill Brook Road and quickly shuttled down to the Seager/Dry Brook lot. It’s a ten minute drive.

That short shuttle is really the cherry on top that makes this hike so great. The track is ten miles over tough and steep terrain, but then, at the end of it all, the car shuttle is super short. Absolutely ace.

Doubletop to Graham

We spent nine hours hiking from Seager back to Mill Brook Road. For the most part, we followed the classic route up Doubletop from Seager. The trail along Dry Brook is one of my favorite trail sections in the Catskills. It feels absolutely idyllic.

Dry Brook looked extra beautiful in the morning light. Both stream crossings were made extra fun by hardened ice.

stream in winter
Dry Brook looking not very dry
swimming hole in winter
Dry Brook

 Closed! Graham & Doubletop mountains are no longer accessible to the public. Both mountains are on private land. Trespassers will be prosecuted. The information presented here is for historical puproses only.

Not long after we left the trail to head up Doubletop, we came across a set of fresh bear prints…

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Similar Hikes

Multi-peak hikes are the best, especially in winter when the days are so short and the conditions so harsh. Other great multi-peak hikes are Sugarloaf & Twin and Blackhead & Black Dome.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Doubletop.

If you do this hike, LMK how it went…

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Two trail head addresses. Seager/Dry Brook is smaller of the two and where you start the hike. The hike ends at Millbrook Road. It’s a 10 minute ride between the two.

Google Maps Location: 42.058176, -74.539708

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Patchy on Doubletop. Service is okay from high on Graham. Pretty regular connection from Balsam Lake and the Dry Brook Trail. My network is Verizon. YMMV.