Owls Head Mountain Fire Tower

It is finally winter conditions in the Adirondacks! Saturday my friend Skyler and I drove up north to hike a fire tower. Our first choice was Vanderwhacker Mountain, but the road to the trailhead hadn’t been plowed and his car didn’t have enough clearance to get down the road so we abandoned that idea. After sitting on the side of Route 28 for 5 minutes checking over our maps, we decided on Owl’s Head Mountain in Long Lake.

We arrived at the trailhead at about 11:00am (late for us!) and then proceeded down the trail with just microspikes. It was below freezing, so we were both bundled up pretty good and managed to stay warm during the hike. At about 1.5 miles in, the previously broken out trail disappeared, so I put on my snowshoes and began climbing, following the sparse red trail markers. Some of them were fixed to actual wood poles (something I’ve never seen on a hiking trail in the Adirondacks?) so it was easy to spot them. I broke trail for the next 1.5 miles, arriving at the false summit, a winter wonderland.

Even though there were no tracks, the opening in the snow made it a bit easier to find the trail

We climbed to about 2600′ and it started getting pretty steep. The trail markers were nowhere to be found. We stopped for about 5 minutes to assess (we were extremely close to the summit) and try to figure out where the trail went. We found an opening that we thought was the trail and climbed up a bit, spotting a red marker in the distance! We continued on, finally reaching the tower. Thankfully it wasn’t windy at all, so we both climbed up. The top was still open.

I imagine the views are spectacular on a clear day! I’ll have to return to this one. We made it down in about an hour and a half, and we were back at the car before 3pm. There was nobody else on the trail all day.

Owls Head Mountain Fire Tower (12/18 ADK completed)
Distance 6.5 mi RT
Total time 4 hours, including stops
Elevation 2,812′
Ascent 1,300′
Gear used Sugoi Subzero Tights, Nike long sleeve base layer, EMS Excel Thermo Hoodie, Marmot Snowqueen Jacket, Kahtoola Microspikes, Vasque Snowblime Hiking Boots, Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes, Osprey Sirrus Day Pack, Hydroflask insulated water bottle, Scott mittens, Smartwool hiking socks, Kelty trekking poles

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Snowshoeing Adventures: Hadley Mountain Firetower and Petersburgh Pass

Last week after a few big snow storms, I took the new boyfriend Jordan for his first snowshoe hike. He recently got a pair of snowshoes and was anxious to try them out. I decided on Hadley Mountain because it’s pretty close to Albany and it’s a short hike with some awesome views. It was a gorgeous day for a snowshoe hike!

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The trek up was a little tough because the hikers before us had left a trail, but weren’t wearing snowshoes. It was kind of a pain. This is one of my pet peeves about winter hiking. When there is two feet of snow on the ground, you wear snowshoes!

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In a couple hours we reached the summit!

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We climbed the firetower to get some good views, too.

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The hike down was a breeze because the trail was nice and packed. This was my second time hiking this mountain. It was one of my very first ADK hikes back in 2009.

Hadley Mountain
Elevation: 2,654′
Total distance RT: 3.6 miles

Sunday was very cold, but it was a sunny day, so I decided to tag along with Jordan and his friend on an adventure. They wanted to snowshoe up to Petersburg Pass, an old ski area in the Taconics on the NY/MA border not that far from Troy.

We bundled up for the short hike. It was getting close to zero degrees, with a windchill that was probably below that.

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We were only on the trail for a few hours. It was so cold! But we just couldn’t resist getting out on a sunny day despite the frigid temps! When you have the proper warm clothing, it makes going outside a lot more enjoyable.

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Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower

One of my favorite days to hike is Columbus Day! I get the day off from work and school and it’s a day to go outside and play because it’s my favorite time of the year–FALL! Because I ran a half marathon on Sunday, I didn’t want to do a very strenuous hike, so I picked Hurricane Mountain in Keene, a ~6 mi hike RT.

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We started at the trail on 9N in Keene, the shortest of the two trails to Hurricane. The trail had been re-routed and was a bit longer than the 2.6 miles, I think it was more like 3. The trail was nice! There were fresh wood planks over the bogs, and the trail was mostly dirt, which felt nice on my feet!

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The first lookout point on the trail gave us a nice view of the foliage. I was impressed that there were still leaves on the trees up here! Gorgeous.

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The second lookout point was a great view. We could see the tiny firetower on top of the mountain–that’s where we were headed! We stopped for a snack and then continued on. It looked much further than it was.

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The top!

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The rocky summit offered a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains. Amazing. One of my favorite hikes to date!

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We spent some time enjoying the views. It got a bit chilly on top! Then we headed back down, it was a quick descent.

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Hurricane Mountain
~6.0 mi RT from Route 9N Parking Lot, Keene
3678′ Elevation
~2,000′ Ascent

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