Nearby Lodging: B&B's
Nearby Swimming – Catskill Recreation Center: http://catskillrecreationcenter.org 845-586-6250 Located at 651 County Highway 38 Arkville; Alder Lake, Big Pond, Little Pond
Bodies of Water/ Waterfalls: Alder Lake (non motorized boats), Big Pond, Little Pond; Pepacton Reservoir (no swimming, non motorized boats only) * NYCDEP Special use permit required along with steam cleaning. Waterfalls: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/77168.html# Waterfalls Buttermilk Falls in Peekamoose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZR9Y-5xUhg; Kaaterskill Falls in Tannersville https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaaterskill_Falls.
Hiking Maps Available: NYNJTC: http://www.nynjtc.org/catalog/maps; Olive Country Store in Shokan: http://www.olivescountrystoreandcafe.com/ and outdoor gear stores noted above.
Hiking Clubs: 3500 Club: http://www.catskill-3500-club.org/ At 3723' in height Balsam Lake Mountain is one of the 35 peaks in the Catskills over 3500 feet. Would you like to take on the challenge to climb them all? In winter?, ADK Fire Tower Challenge: http://www.adk-gfs.org/firetower.challenge.php This challenge encourages you to climb to all 5 Catskill fire towers and an additional 18 in the Adirondacks. Sponsored by the ADK Glens Falls Saratoga Chapter, you can also choose to climb them all in winter! The Catskill Adventure Patch is a challenge created by the NYSDEC to encourage families to visit areas of the Park that include Balsam Lake Fire Tower. You can earn a patch by visiting 6 of these options: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/catskilladventure.pdf.
Books about towers: There are several books about the fire towers in New York State. Marty Podskoch has written three; The Catskills, The ADK Northern District and the ADK Southern District:http://www.firetowerstories.com/ ; There is also The Fire Observation Towers of New York State by Paul Laskey; and the Views from On High book by Jack Freeman is a guide book for the ADK Fire Tower Challenge.
Special Events held at BLM: From time to time, special events are held at the fire tower. They have included; geocaching, photography, birding, amateur radio club, astronomy, light up the night (always Labor Day weekend), children's day, meet the authors, meet the Rangers, Meet Smokey The Bear, and a Catskill Forestry Association woods walk. If you have a suggestion, please let the volunteers know and it will be taken into consideration.
Additional Information about the Catskill Park: Catskill Interpretive Center: http://www.catskillinterpretivecenter.org/