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A nice moderate intro to Catskills hiking with an honestly arduous climb to the summit, stunning views, a fire tower to play on, and gothic-like ruins of an abandoned hotel to ponder. Do continue another 1.5 miles to serene Echo Lake for its beauty and hiking variety. The downside: the trail to Overlook is more ho-hum gravel road than true trail (undergoing machine grading when I visited), and trailhead parking can be challenging during busy hiking times.

its is a tough trail going up and going down! yet its beautiful when you reach the top!

Did this today with my two kids aged 10 and 13. Had an awesome hike. We forgot to bring water but some nice fellow hikers were kind enough to share with us. Thanks to Louise Hay and positive affirmations (had been listening to Louise in the car to the trailhead and my daughter did affirmations on water literally two minutes before some strangers offered water unprompted).

old trail a 5 maybe new one a 3 light snow on top

Amazing view from the top of the fire tower

Hiked on 10/14/18. Beautiful hike to see 360 degree views of fabulous fall foliage, Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks. The trail is a bit muddy in spots, but not bad. Watch out for the ice and water on the some of the rocks just before heading to the summit. The top of the fire tower can be windy and cold, so make sure to bring a hat and gloves. It took us about 2 hours each way with a nice break at the top for lunch in a sheltered spot away from the wind.

Breathtaking views at the summit and several points on the way up as well. The trail is clearly marked and well traveled. Steady uphill climb with some rocky parts to keep it interesting. I went to see the fall foliage and was not disappointed in the slightest!

Loved! Definitely challenging, but a good challenging.

3 days ago

First hike for wife and I. Great views. Was a little slippery because it rained a little throughout the trip. Good boots, good stick helped a lot. Was about 45 degrees but very comfortable until the top. Got some great photos. We left at 10am and we’re first ones up for the day but saw about 20 people while at top and on the way down.

A lovely trail and pretty well marked. the colors were brilliant today! the trail is not too difficult but it did have a few spots that had me working hard to keep going. The firetower was wonderful!

Hiked on 10/13. Was a little muddy in parts but was one of the prettiest hikes I’ve done. It was snowing towards the top and most trees were covered by the time we reached the top. Before the fire tower were two spot with incredible views! It was a little cloudy but visibility was still good. the fire tower was covered in ice and a little slippery but still had great views. Hiked with 3 other friends and it was one of our favorites! 1.25 hours up, about 40 minutes spent on top, and about 1.25 hours down with a lunch pit stop. All in all a beautiful sight for a shorter trail

Great hike, good feel for Adirondack hiking. A little heads up, sign distance on 9N is off—that’s distance to false summit. From that opening to tower is another half mile going down and then scrambling rocks to tower.
If taking new hikers don’t let them get fooled when they reach the top, top is not the destination.

beautiful at the top you can see for ever

The views at the top of the tower are terrific, not sure how much longer the fall foliage there will last with the high winds but if you can get there in the next day or two its a worth while trek. I uploaded my foliage pics. I think Timothy is reviewing the wrong mountain. There is nothing difficult about this trail (my 5 year old could do this twice easily) unless you are in bad shape. As far as mountains go I would say its actually on the easier side (easy I think is reserved for those flat short hikes). It is a little muddy at the moment but if you are wearing hiking boots you will hardly notice. I was up, took pics and down in under an hour (I jogged down). As others said there isn't much to see until you actually climb up the firetower.

This was my first mountain and it was awesome. We aren't physically fit folks so this was a good challenge for us. It took about 3hrs for us to reach the fire tower. Going up was an unrelenting climb. Glad I had a walking stick and good boots. No bugs which was great. We definitely needed to bring more water as we only brought sports bottles. We had an amazing view without going up in the fire tower (he went up, I stayed firmly planted on the rock). Going down was slightly easier. We ended up taking about 2hrs to get back down to the parking lot. You get a workout climbing over the rocks and such but totally worth the effort!!

Nice hike to the top, Did it in about a hour!! Beautiful views love fall!!

The hike is a perfect balance of relaxation and challenge, only 2 hours away from Montreal. The last third of the path is a bit more exhausting, but nothing too intense. Very well maintained path, parking and trail easy to find. Path was quite muddy when we did the hike on this fall day, but still totally doable, even for kids. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy and foggy so we had no view at all once at the summit, but we still had a good time. I'll definitely come back on a sunnier day!

For most of us who are doing the firetower challenge, we are not experienced seasoned hikers ( those are the 46 er group) this is NOT an easy hike. It’s not hard,but has some steep inclines and is fairly long. It’s a very nice trail but the firetower is locked at the top and not much of a view from the ground. There is one spot where a large tree is blocking the trail , walking around it can be challenging if it’s wet, hopefully it will be removed soon.

Great hike. The dogs helped make the hike up easier then made it quite a bit more dangerous on the way down. Beautiful view at the summit.

Very wet and eroded but even in the clouds with rain and wind still was a great view especially from the firetower. Need to do on a clear fall day next time!

hiking
10 days ago

This was a great hike. Most of the trail is semi flat or a steady incline with the last 1/2 mile being very steep rocks. The view from the top was awesome! Took my 3 yo dog with us and she made it but the end would be a challenge for smaller dogs or dogs that dont hike often. There is a fire tower at the top with 360 degree views too!

The hike was great, I would say the rank of “moderate” is more on the high end of the scale. It is an incline the entire time on terrain including large loose rocks and slabs of slate. Beautiful landscape through out including birch trees, streams and moss. The foliage was almost peak when we went ( Columbus Day weekend). Appropriate hiking footwear is recommended due to the trail being muddy and unstable in spots- the balance and grip of hiking footwear works in your favor! It was foggy and misty when we got to the top, it was like we were up the clouds. In total it took us roughly 3 hours with frequent stops along the way up. Going down is much easier than going up! Tip: bring water and snacks for when you get to the top, you will thank yourself later!

Very easy climb with barely any elevation gain for the first 2.5 miles or so, follow by relatively steep elevation gain for the last part to the summit. Definitely lulls you into a false sense of security! The hike up is pretty much all forest, no views. The summit itself is quite open so it's fine even when crowded. Fire tower is in good condition and climbable. You'll get nice views of the surrounding lakes and peaks, great colors in the fall. We got to the parking lot by 8 and only saw one other group on the way up, though the numbers picked up on the way down. Overall a great quick hike to start your day.

hiking
10 days ago

As previously stated the drive to the trail-head is basically a two-lane dirt road to a single-lane dirt road. There are some spots in the single-lane road to pull over to let oncoming traffic by. Drive slowly (10-15 mph) as there are ruts. I like to fly down dirt roads so at times it felt my vehicle would shake apart! :)

The trail-head itself serves not only Pillsbury Mountain but also Pillsbury Lake, Cedar Lake, and West Canada Lake via the French Louis Trail. It can accommodate about 15 vehicles so get there early if you want a spot. Otherwise you may have to park a little further out at the Sled Harbor clearing. This will add 1.8 miles to your hike.

I am not sure if this is legal or not but I did see some campers along the way in our of the way spots. The trail-head itself contained a couple sleeping in their sleeping bags in the (open) bed of their pickup truck!

The hike itself is mostly uphill with lots of free flowing water so bring your water-proof foot gear. Can get slippery at times when the water flows over the rocks. The transition from deciduous to pine was quite dramatic a very cool. There was a spot about 0.5 hours in that looked like a micro-burst had touched down where some trees had been felled and moss was growing from the branches.

There is nothing much to see on the way to the fire tower but the view at the top is spectacular. The cab to the fire tower is closed but the stairs are not so enjoy the view especially the Columbus Day weekend which appears to be peak foliage in the ADK. Another perk of this hike is the absence of highways and roads which means no road-noise as you hike. This is one of the most peaceful hikes I have done.

Amazing hike and one of the BEST views we have ever had!!! As usual, AllTrails had the hike a bit shorter than both our Apple watch and AllTrails Pro clocked us at (6.8 miles). We felt that this hike should have been rated Moderate Vs the Herd rating given - aside from some light scrambling near the top, this was a solid moderate hike.. Do it, you’ll be (very) glad you did!!

Really enjoyed this hike trail was peaceful and in very good condition. Great fall foliage and weather were a bonus.

First of all, the drive in was an adventure unto itself. Hard-pack dirt on Jessop River Road (we came from the southern/Speculator end). Old Military Road is crusher-run (small stone) and is pretty much the width of a single pickup truck, don't expect to be able to turn your vehicle around until you get to the parking area; the ability to pull to the side for an oncoming vehicle is also very limited. We were the third car at the trailhead; when we returned from the summit there must have been 15 vehicles.

The hike itself is wonderful, in fact its our favourite of the firetowers so far! Currently (10/05/2018) the trail is saturated, there's flowing water in a lot of places, and more so at higher elevations. LOTS of mud to sink into, so bring extra socks if your boots aren't as waterproof as you'd like! Very manageable though with careful foot placement. The switch from deciduous forest to coniferous is fairly dramatic, the change in smell is amazing; we were VERY sad to leave the scent of the pines during the descent.

As others have mentioned, the firetower is in a little disrepair and the cab is locked. Views from higher up are stunning; you definitely earn this view. We clocked in at 3.8 miles.

hiking
13 days ago

very nice, did with the family and it took me a while as I'm new at hiking. We did the trail with 6 kids, 2 dogs and 4 adults!

A perfect day for a hike. Overcast, 54 degrees, and fog at the summit.
The trail was very wet and slippery after a couple of days of rain, but who cares.
The summit with the tower was very busy. About 20 people including a group of 10 climbing the tower. One hiker, a DEC employee, complained it was too busy and that daily access should be limited like they do in Maine. I drove 3 ½ hours for this hike and I would have been extremely disappointed to have been turned away if the trail was "too busy."
I enjoy the fire towers all across the state and do not want to be restricted from them. I encourage anyone who wishes to hike our beautiful forests to do so.

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