Christmas Eve Hike to Black Mountain

On Saturday my friend and I did a quick hike to Black Mountain near Lake George. The day started off nice, then it began to snow on our hike down from the mountain.

It felt like we were in a snow globe. The trail had a layer of snow on top of thick ice, making our Kahtoolas necessary, but an annoyance on the descent.  The snow kept forming balls of ice under our spikes.  It was my second time on Black and my second Winter Fire Tower! It was also a nice change to spend Christmas Eve hiking! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday.

Black Mountain Fire Tower
Distance 5.6 mi RT
Time 2 hrs, 40 min, including stops
Elevation 2,665′
Ascent 1,169′

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Kane Mountain Firetower

I recently hiked Kane Mountain in Fulton County, about an hour and 15 minutes outside of Albany. It’s a nice little hike if you are looking to get outside and hit the trails. It has a decent view for minimal effort!

Jenna, Steve and I opted for the shortest route up and then took the longer trail back to make a nice loop.

There is a nice view from the top of the fire tower. I’d love to come up here for a sunset hike sometime. There is no real view from the summit unless you climb the tower.

There is a little cabin at the top that has been boarded up, but it seems people still go inside (and leave their trash behind!–which is sad).

Near the trail head there is a little pond and a creek.

Kane Mountain Fire Tower
Total Distance: 1.8 mi loop
Elevation: 2180′
Ascent: 600′

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The trailhead is on the left.

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Blue Mountain Firetower

The weather here for the past week and half has been just amazing. I took the opportunity to head back up North for a hike to get the legs back into climbing. I decided on Blue Mountain, right outside the small town of Blue Mountain Lake, close to the Adirondack Museum. The trailhead is located just north of the museum on the opposite side Route 28N. A two mile trek one-way, this hike seemed like the perfect one to try out on my own for the first time!

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Technically I wasn’t 100% alone. Jordan and I were pet-sitting for some friends over the weekend, so I took along Zahra, one of the most well-behaved dogs I have ever met! She made such a great hiking partner!

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It was a little warm and buggy, but it was the trail was surprisingly dry, until we got a little higher. There were some icy spots at the higher elevations, but nothing too bad. I didn’t have to break out the microspikes.

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The last half mile is pretty steep and slippery since it is mostly bare rock. I had some flashbacks of hiking Allen at the end of last summer. After about an hour and 15 minutes of climbing, we made it to the top!

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Blue Mountain has an open firetower, which supposedly has amazing views. I didn’t go up because of the dog, but I would definitely consider hiking again on a day that was a bit more clear.

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I ate my lunch and chatted with some boy scouts while sitting on top. Then we wandered over to the other side of the summit for a better lookout.

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The descent back down went by quick, another woman hiking on her own started up some friendly conversation and we happily chatted the entire way down.

I wasn’t nervous to hike by myself, as I did my research on the route. It was only 2 miles long and located in a somewhat populated area of the Adirondacks. It is also a very popular hike because of the firetower. The trail was marked with red trail markers so it was easy to follow. I’m very confident in my hiking ability now and felt quite at home on the trail. I made sure to tell Jordan and my family where I would be hiking and gave them the address of the trailhead. I also carry a GPS emergency locator in case anything goes wrong, along with the 10 essentials.

Blue Mountain
Elevation:
3,759
Ascent:
1,496′
Distance:
4.2 mi RT

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