Trek 2017

Sunday August 6 - Check-in Day

Discussing the trek plan

Map and Compass instruction

Day 2 - 10 mile hike along the new White Trail at OSR

There was a light rain for most of the day, but that did not deter the hikers. Anyone can hike in nice weather ! Along the way Aidan worked on Nature Merit Badge identifying several mammals by their droppings (bear, coyote, deer). The only reptile we encountered was the Red Eff.

Day 3 - 10 mile hike that turned into a 15 miler :)

Today they hiked to Frick pond. Along the way we identified plants and several birds for Aidan's Nature merit badge. At Frick Pond there was a DEC team setting up traps to catch the beavers that had built a dam across the outflow stream. This water is used by the state fish hatchery and the beavers have slowed down the flow. So the beavers must go some place else. Tomorrow we leave for the three day portion of the trek, 30 miles in three days and two nights out camping.

On the way to Frick Pond

John dealing with an insect bite

Frick Pond with beaver dam

Aidan at Frick Pond

Day 4 - First day of the 30 mile three day trek off camp

Trek crew packed for the 3 day 30 mile trek off camp. They took the OSR Blue trail to the OSR Yellow and than joined the NYS snowmobile trail heading to Coyote junction, Hodge Pond and ending up at Mongoup Pond Campgrounds. 13+ miles with one wrong turn :)

Packing for the 3 day trek

All set to go in the parking lot

Heading up the OSR Blue Trail

Setting up in Mongaup Pond Campsite

John at the evening campfire

Day 5 Trek from Mongaup Pond to Balsam Fire Tower

Todays hike starts at Mongaup Pond. Follows the NYS Blue trail to the eastern end of the Beaverkill Rd. From there they take the NYS Yellow trail to the end of the road and connect with the NYS Red to the top of Balsam Lake Mt (3723 ft). Camp that night at the lean-to on Balsam Lake Mt.

Packing up camp at Mongaup SP

All ready to leave the camp

Leaving the campsite

At the start of the NYS Blue trail to Beaverkill RD

Off they go up the Blue trail

All except Charlie :)

Fire tower at the top of Balsam Mt.

Aidan and John up in the tower

The lean-to campsite at Balsam Lake Mt. Small but it has one of the best year round springs in the Catskills.

Day 6 - Balsam Lake Mt to Alder Lake and back to OSR

They left the lean-to around 9 am and are hiking to Alder Lake. Weather is cloudy and cool. Rain expected later this afternoon, but they should be back at Onteora before it starts. I'm heading over to Alder Lake now to get them.

Trek crew emerges from the trail at Alder Lake - The END of 50 miles !

Steve Shull - Trek leader 2016 & 2017



Charlie Ruiz - Trek leader 2016 & 2017

Award ceremony at the closing campfire, Scouts received a T-Shirt with the fire tower, the Catskill Fire Tower patch, and the BSA 50 Mile award patch.

Left to right Trek 2017 scouts John and Aidan Trek 2016 scouts Dan and Louise

Interested in doing a 50 mile trek in 2018 ? Email me at