Easy Adirondack Hikes: Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower (Elizabethtown NY)

Hurricane Mountain 
Elevation = 3,694'  
Vertical ascent = 2,000'
Distance = 2.6 miles

Hurricane Mountain, located in Essex County, has a solid rock summit and 360ยบ view. It's most known for its fire tower that was first built in 1909. That wooden structure was replaced in 1919 with the current 35' Aermoto LS-40 tower and 7'x7' metal cab.  There had been quite a lot of controversy regarding whether the fire tower should be repaired or maintained, but in 2014 New York State approved the plan to restore public access to the Hurricane Fire tower. Now in 2016, the fire tower is open, thanks to the Friends of Hurricane Mountain and other volunteers. 

There are three different approaches for this mountain. Coming from the Rt. 9N approach, this hike gains very little elevation for the first mile.  After signing in at the register, the path follows an old road that weaves through wooded areas, crossing plank walkways over marshy areas. 

After passing crossing another log walkway the area opens up to a bog. This crossing can be swampy after a recent rain or during mud season so be careful. It is a popular spot to spy red efts (red-spotted newts). 

After that open walkway, the climb begins to gain elevation quite swiftly. There are plenty of rock staircases and roots to climb over. It is a challenging hike, but worth the beautiful view from the summit.

There will be several steep pitches before reaching the open summit. Walk out for loose rocks and debris.

After crossing the junction with the other trail up Hurricane (starting in Keene), bear right and reach the summit in another 0.1 mile. 

Directions: From the intersection of Rt 9N and Rt. 73 between Keene and Keene Valley, take Rt. 9N for east for 3.5 miles. The trail will be on the north side of the road. Parking is opposite the trailhead.

For other hiking options around Hurricane Mountain, try Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks for 33 easy hikes around the Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene Valley, Jay and Wilmington area as well as 19 swimming holes, historic sites and four-season fun

Hike other mountains with fire towers and take the Fire Tower Challenge.

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™, which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the third guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™.


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