Wakely Mountain Firetower

A few weeks ago Brendan and I drove up to the Adirondacks to hike another firetower. We’ve both been simultaneously hiking the 46 and the Adirondack firetowers, the latter being the easier of the two challenges. We parked at the trailhead on Cedar River Road (12 miles from the turn off on Route 28 in Indian Lake). The first 2 miles were a very nice walk on a wide logging road. It was gorgeous. The climbing began about a mile from the summit.

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Soon enough we arrived at the helicopter pad.

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The firetower was only a few steps away. Sadly there aren’t any views unless you climb up.

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Wakely Mountain Firetower
11/18 ADK Firetowers
Distance 6.1 mi RT
Elevation 3,766′
Ascent 1,640′
Time 3 hrs, 40 minutes

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Hunter Mountain Fire Tower

School is over for the semester and I found myself with Monday off. It was going to be a pretty nice day so I asked Jona if she wanted to get in a short hike since she had the day off also. We decided to hike Hunter Mountain, a peak in the Catskills that is part of the 35 over 3,500′ (5/35) and is also on the Fire Tower Challenge (10/28) list. It is the second highest Catskill Peak at 4,040 feet.

There are many trails to get to the summit of Hunter. We opted for the easier fire-road. The trail head is at a parking lot near the end of a long dead-end called Spruceton Road. We started the hike at around 8am. The first few miles went along Hunter Brook.

At 1.3 miles we came to a junction. Taking a right lead us up to the fire tower.

The trail was a very wide gravel path. It was still steep though!

We stopped at the John Robb lean-to check it out. This little guy was hanging out nearby.

The view a few steps from the lean-to.

Wouldn’t mind staying overnight up here!

Near the summit the trail flattens out a little bit and it’s just gorgeous. We loved walking through the trees. It felt like an enchanted forest!

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After about an hour and a half since we left the car, we got to the tower. Unfortunately there isn’t a view unless you climb up.

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We ate our early lunch and then headed back down. We stopped at the spring, which was just a little ways off the trail.

We got back down around 11:30. It had been a while since either of us had hiked in the Catskills. They are closer than the Adirondacks and seem to be easier hikes, at least the hikes I’ve done have been. The Catskills are a good option when DEC warns to stay off the trails of the Adirondack high peaks during mud season.

Hunter Mountain Fire Tower
Distance 7.0 mi RT
Elevation 4,040′
Ascent 1936′
Time 3 hours, 30 minutes

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Mount Adams Firetower

It had been over a month since I last went hiking (I KNOW!)-so last Sunday, Brendan, Jenna and I decided to check another Adirondack Fire Tower off the list. Mount Adams!

The trail to Mount Adams starts at the same trailhead as Allen Mountain, one of the high peaks. I hiked Allen back in September of 2014 with Christine, and it was one of the most epic hikes I’ve done to date.  Anyway, it was nice to be back in this part of the Adirondacks, because I really loved the first few miles of that hike. To get to Mount Adams, you hike the same trail to get there, but it’s a lot shorter!

The trail loops around Lake Jimmy. You can see the remains of an old bridge that had gotten washed away. This is one of my favorite spots–it is so pristine and untouched!

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After about a mile, we passed the old caretaker cabins, a creepy sight even during the day. But a little further along on the left is where the trail for Mount Adams starts.

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It was a bit chilly, but at least the sun was out! Ice has started to form in some spots. We brought along our microspikes and used them for a little bit, but it was annoying to keep taking them on and off.

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The last mile and a half gets a little bit steep. It was just challenging enough for a short hike! It was like hiking a high peak, but without the long miles.

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After 2 hours of hiking, we reached the top! But the catch is you have to go up into the tower to get an amazing view of the surrounding high peaks. There is no view from the ground, since the summit is wooded.

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Climbing up to the top is worth it, though.

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There is a fantastic view of that beast, Allen (the one in the middle under that big cloud).

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And the Santanonis.

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And Mount Marcy, covered in cloud.

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What a great view. It was a nice hike! After warming up with some hot chocolate and eating a snack, it was time to head back down. Soon enough we were back at Lake Jimmy, but the sun was hiding this time.

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Crossing the Hudson.

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Mount Adams Fire Tower
Distance – 5 MILES RT
Elevation gain – 1,800′
Summit elevation – 3,520′

On the way out we stopped for a minute at the Old McIntyre Furnace. It sits on the side of Upper Works Road not far from the trailhead parking lot.

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It is a lot bigger in person. It was cool to see and to learn some of the history behind it. Apparently it was built in the 1850s and only operated a few years mining iron. It is worth checking out if you are into Adirondack history.

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Black Mountain Firetower

Looking for a nice, easy hike not too far from the Capital Region? Look no further! Yesterday Jona and I hiked Black Mountain, a hike not too far from Lake George. At 2,665 ft., Black Mountain is the highest mountain in the Lake George region. Not only is there a firetower at the top (closed to the public), there is a power generating wind turbine! I didn’t realize that until we got up there so it was a nice surprise.

We had a late start and parked at the lot on Pike Brook Road at around 1:30PM. I think this may have been my latest hike start, but it was a short one so we weren’t worried at all.  The first mile or so is on a fire road and then the trail begins to climb gradually.

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We took one short break for water but made it to the summit in 1 hour, 10 minutes! The summit is 2.9 miles from the parking lot.

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There were gorgeous views of Lake George to be seen.

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Wind turbine.

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Solar panels and firetower.

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We stopped for a few minutes to have a snack and enjoy the view then headed down the trail behind the firetower to do the loop back to the car.

The other side of the mountain had some nice lookout points to the other side of Lake George.

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This trail was a lot more interesting, but was a bit overgrown because it is probably a lot less used, except by this guy.

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Eventually we came to a junction to take us to Black Mt. Point (trailhead accessible only by boat), or to Black Mt. Pond. We went to the ponds.

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So pretty! There is a lean-to right on the pond that would make an excellent camping spot! Someone must have just left because there were embers still in the firepit.

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Lovely trail by the pond.

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From here you can almost see the firetower on top of Black Mt, the one on the right. It looks like a tall tree.

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It was a lovely hike and enjoyable walk in the woods.

Black Mountain Loop
Distance 7.1 miles
Elevation 2,667 ft
Elevation gain 1,272 ft
Total time including stops 3 hrs, 41  min
Firetower challenge 6/28

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Firetower Challenge – Goodnow Mountain

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It’s no surprise that I’m always up for a challenge. So, why not add another one to my current list? In addition to hiking the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks, the Catskill 35 over 3500, there is the Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge, which is a list of all the mountains that currently have a firetower at the top. Since I have already hiked two of these mountains, Hadley Mountain and Hurricane Mountain, I decided to go for another.  I hiked Goodnow Mountain on Sunday with a few good friends.

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About a two hour drive from Albany, the trail to Goodnow is right down the road from the Adirondack Visitor Center on Route 28N. There was a giant white sign for the parking lot, which made it easy to spot!

There was a dusting of snow on the trail already, which I really enjoyed! I don’t know how but I’ve completely changed my mind the past year about winter weather. I love it. The hike was pleasant. It wasn’t too steep, and there were many things to look at, including an old barn and an interesting tree with roots growing around a boulder.

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An easy 1.9 mile climb to the top, we found the firetower and cabin! Of course to get the 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains we climbed to the top.

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November is an peaceful time to hike. The trails are quiet (we saw no one else on the hike–but the trail register showed a group had already come and gone that morning) and you can smell winter in the air.

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Goodnow Mountain Firetower
~4 mi RT
1,040′ Ascent
2,690′ Elevation
Total time including stops: 3 hours, 10 minutes

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