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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
Hurricane Mountain isn't one of the famous high peaks with its 3694 foot summit. But it's still a really great and popular hike in the Adirondacks. It is one of the lowest bald peaks in the area with the tree line at about 3450 feet at the main trail junction. It also offers great views of most of the lower great range. This peak offers a huge open summit with spectacular views. It also offers a fire tower. There are three different approaches to the summit.
The main trail leads from a good and well marked parking lot on NY 9N. The GPS coordinates are N44 12.694 W73 43.363. Another trail leads from the end of O’Toole Rd at the parking area at Crow Clearing. This is the gentlest way to Hurricane Mountain. For those who have 4x4 vehicles you can try the approach from the east up the old fire tower road but you may no longer may be able to get very far as the road has not been maintained for many years and is very steep. Plus the short trail from the old fire watchers cabin is very steep and usually quite wet.
Hurricane Mountain is part of the "ADK Fire Tower Challenge". Below is trail description from the Friends of Hurricane Mountain website:
South Trail - This trail climbs steeply at first from NY 9N, then levels out, crosses a series of bridges across beaver swamps and then resumes a gradual climb with switchbacks to a rock ledge overlook at 2.8 miles. The North Trail joins just before reaching the final rocky summit at 3.4 miles. The elevation gain is 2000 feet. Total hike is 6.8 miles roud trip amd is considered a moderate climb for the regular hiker.
North Trail - This trail starts at Crow Clearing off O'Toole Road and rises 1600 feet over three miles. The first mile is virtually flat and passes close to the recently rebuilt Gulf Brook Lean To.
East Trail - This was the trail used by fire tower observers from 1919 to 1979. It passes the site of the old cabin used by the observers and their families during work season. It begins at the end of Hurricane Road, west of Elizabethtown and climbs 1700 feet over 2.7 miles. Much of the first mile is very flat, so the final section is quite steep.
Start of the trail off NY 9N
Puncheon along the trail (courtesy of Jake Wilde)
Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower (courtesy of Jake Wilde)
View from Hurricane Mountain (courtesy of Jake Wilde)
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