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A good 3-hour hike that leaves time to enjoy the day. Some pretty steep spots and good footwear is a must because there is a lot bare rock and wet leaves. The wind can really howl at the top too. Rewarding view - and a climb up the fire tower is an unexpected (and a little nerve-wracking) delight. Plan roughly 1:45 up, 20-30 minutes at the top, and 45 minutes down. Expect to see plenty of others enjoying the trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked Hadley 10/19/18, great conditions, sunny day, slightly muddy so with the mud and leaves I suggest boots or shoes with good traction. Views were great, peak leaf season, a little past peak at the top. Good mix of pines and deciduous. Nice little hike that gets your blood pumping for sure. I’m in okay shape and it took me a little over an hour to reach the top. Fire tower was open. Views are spectacular. Enjoy!

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!

6 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.

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.

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!!

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.

hiking
13 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!

hiking
14 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
17 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.

20 days ago

I found this hike to be a bit challenging in that the trail was not very pleasant for footing: rocks and gravel-like path (road) in the beginning; lots and lots and lots of rocks, roots and mud pretty much the whole way up. The trail seems to have become a runoff and is heavily used. Ascent-wise it was not terribly difficult but moderate to difficult, and not strenuous as far as climbing the final ascent to the summit. I was expecting much worse! I think the challenging part for me had to do with footing on the rough terrain.

Atop you will find a lovely lookout to the right and just below the tower summit. The tower is closed, fenced off, has become a cell tower; there is a windmill there as well, which makes a lot of noise when it’s going! It was cool to see but obviously not pretty so it’s best to take a seat below, and enjoy the gorgeous view of the northern section of LG.

I have definitely seen better and maybe I will do this in the winter, thinking snowshoeing will actually be easier over the messy terrain.

I had the good Fortune to go up to the top on a sunny mild day September 22., via the northern route. Beautiful 360° views from the top. The trail had a gradual incline, each miles increases grade, the last mile was moderate with occasional steep spots and short scrambles near the top. Watch your head at the top of the fire tower stairs- looking at your feet might buy you a headache on an overhanging board. The woods were sun dappled with frequent patches of birch and deep green mosses covering large areas. AllTrails had distance listed as 5.5 miles round trip, I clocked 6.3 miles.? I highly recommend this hike for one of the shorter approaches to big views. Enjoy !

Constant incline but not too steep, we were going at a casual pace so didn't get too winded. A little muddy in some places but view is gorgeous. Not quite peak fall colors yet but we got a tease of it at the summit. In maybe two weeks I imagine it'll be spectacular up here.

Incredible hike, views at the top are 110% worth the challenge towards the top. Beautiful the entire way!

great trail. the first part of the trail is a nice walk on an old road. after the road it is very steep all the way up to the tower. some of the rocks get slippery. the views from the tower are amazing

Solid incline to the summit. We are in reasonable shape and took our 3 yo pup. It was pretty wet for some mud conditions but it was still worth it. Fantastic view!

Enjoyable hike. Gets rocky at some points but not terrible. Limited space to hang out and enjoy the views if there are multiple hikers at the top. But the views are beautiful even without access to the fire tower. Took about an hour to get to the summit and we flew back down pretty quickly. We did spend some extra time up there because the views are great. I definitely recommend!

Easy and beautiful hike!
Took us around 3 hours with long stops.
Amazing summit view and all along the way, highly recommend!

Hiked up Black Mt on Saturday 9/22/2018. A crisp, clear morning perfect for hiking. I took the 2.5 mi trail up to the summit in 1 hour. The trail was easy to follow and the ascent was gradual/moderate with no really steep sections.
The views at the summit were amazing! Even with no access to the firetower. I took some nice photos from the lookout right below the summit. Then took the trail around the other side of the tower to another rock outcrop for more awesome views.
After 15 minutes I started down the other side to make the 7.7 mi loop hike. Soon after leaving the summit there is a side trail to the right with nice views towards Lake George. After that I zigzagged down the trail and came to the signed trail junction with the blue blazed trail that returns toward the parking area.
Now, it was obvious that this section sees much less use, as the trail was very faint and almost non-existent in places. I came to a lean-to and it seemed the trail ended there. But after some searching, I went down to the pond and found where the trail continued.
The trail was more visible after the lean-to and after a bit intersects with a yellow blazed trail that finishes the loop back to the road.
The whole trail was very scenic and I'm so glad I took the long way back. Another hiker and I were trail running most of the way back and I made it back in 1:18. Pretty good time for me.
A great loop hike overall, which I highly recommend. I would come back here again.

hiking
26 days ago

Enjoyed the trail especially the streams and view from the summit. Only about eight other folks on the trail. Steady incline with a fairly steep climb for the last 1/2 mile or so.

My GPS sent me up O'Toole Rd to a trailhead. The trail starts off easy but the trail that branches off to Hurricane Mtn becomes moderate with a narrow water crossing and then as the incline increases, the trail becomes harder with some climbing. The trail could be marked a bit better, but all in all a great challenging hike with amazing views from the tower, summit and surrounding ledges.

Great hike. Very nice views of the high peaks.

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