One of the nicest easy hikes in the central Catskills, enjoyed on a gorgeous spring day. The hike combining the Alder Lake Loop with the Mill Brook Ridge Trail to the beaver meadows is 4 1/2 miles round trip with 500 ft. of elevation gain. Dry footing except for a few wet spots on the Mill Brook Ridge Trail.
Alder Lake was once part of the private estate of railroad magnate Samuel D. Coykendall, who had an impressive lodge built here in 1899 and created the 45-acre lake with a dam.
Smooth walking on the Alder Lake Loop.
Carol enjoying the view of Alder Creek from the trail bridge.
The Mill Brook Ridge Trail follows the creek eastward up the valley between Mill Brook Ridge and Cradle Rock Ridge.
Spring beauties brightened the sides of the trail.
The first beaver meadow, just off-trail.
Beaver Meadow Lean-To, nicely sited.
Wonderful spring behind the lean-to.
View from the lean-to.
A stout maple. Dr. Michael Kudish's forest history map shows the area near the lean-to as first growth forest.
Base of Mill Brook Ridge.
Beaver meadow #3.