Trailhead GPS: Coordinates N42.0497 W74.6825
Getting There: Exit State Route 17 at Exit 96W and turn right on DeBruce Road. Drive to the T intersection and turn right on Old Rt 17 toward Roscoe. Drive 1.3 miles to Beaverkill Road on the right. Exit State Route 17 at Exit 96E and turn right on White Roe Lake Road. Drive to the T intersection and turn right on Old Rt 17. Drive 1.2 miles to Beaverkill Road on the right. Turn right on Beaverkill Road and drive 12.3 miles to Alder Creek Road on the left. Turn left on Alder Creek Road and drive 2.2 miles to the intersection of Alder Creek Road, Cross Mountain Road and the access road to Alder Lake. Turn right on the aces road and drive to the end parking in the large lot. CAUTION: The access road to Alder Lake is NOT always well maintained and the gate may be closed. If you choose to park outside the gate, be sure to park off the side of the road as far as possible.
Difficulty: This hike is rated VERY STRENUOUS because it is over 8 miles long and has some significant uphill sections to hike. In fact, Millbrook Ridge is on the Catskill Highest Hundred list! There may be wet or muddy areas along the way.
Trail Surface: The trail surface up to the Millbrook Ridge Trail is more of a path and is free of large stones and tree trunks consisting mostly of small stones and dirt. The Millbrook Ridge Trail is a hiking trail which may have some larger rocks and tree roots. The trail is often wet and muddy in places.
Hike Description: Walk out the end of the parking area toward the lake on the path. The stonework on the left is the remains of the Coykendall Mansion that was in such disrepair that the state burned it several years ago. Ahead of you is Alder Lake which is very popular for camping, fishing and hiking. Walk down the path to the left of the lake. Continue to follow the path as it curves around the lake clockwise. You will walk over a bridge that span a small stream that enters the lake. At .8 miles the yellow Millbrook Ridge Trail turns to the left. Turn left on the Millbrook Ridge Trail to begin a 1.4 mile ascent that gains 530 feet. The trail is never very steep and there are several level areas along the way. The trail parallels Alder Creek for most of the hike. There are several beaver meadows along the way on the right side of the trail. You may also find a beaver pond on the left side of the trail in one of the more level areas. At 2.25 miles the Beaver Meadow Lean-to appears on the right side of the trail. You may visit it if you like on the way out or the way back. Over the next 1.3 miles the trail climbs 750 feet reaching a high point of 3450 feet which places it on the Catskill Highest Hundred list. There are a few steep ascents and descents but they are followed by level areas that allow you to catch your breath. At 2.8 miles the trail turns east and follows Millbrook Ridge. There is a short descent and one more climb on the way to the lookout over Beecher Lake at 4.3 miles. Reverend James Beecher owned the land at one time and used it for quiet contemplation. He was a brother of the author Harriet Beecher Stowe. The property is now home of the Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji, Zen Buddhist monastery. You can see the main building of the monastery when there are not too many leaves on the trees. After taking in the view, it is time to turn around, retrace your route and enjoy the downhill hike back to your car.