Lyon Mountain Firetower Trail

HARD 102 reviews

Lyon Mountain Firetower Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ellenburg Depot, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.1 miles
1922 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips


trail running




wild flowers




One of the tougher Firetower hikes with two options to the summit that offers full 360 degree views. Lyon Mountain, at 3830 feet, is the highest point in Clinton County and the highest point north of the Saranac River. It is located in the northeastern part of Adirondack Park, west of Plattsburgh, NY in the Chazy Highlands Wild Forest. There is a new 3.4 mile trail that winds its way to the summit and fire tower. The trail has an overall elevation gain of 1900 feet over the 3.4 miles. The old trail is shorter (2.5 m each way) and steeper. The hike is long but you are rewarded with a 360 degree view from the fire tower. Views all the way to Montreal to the north, the Green Mountains and Vermont to the East and the high peaks to the south.

13 days ago

6/3/18... Hiked this trail 5+ times. 1st time this year. Love this hike! Beautiful views of Lake Champlain, Vermont, the High Peaks and into Canada. Fire tower is open. A great practice hike to get ready for High Peaks. Good marked trail. Only a couple spots with a little mud. I always take the marked longer, but less steep trail... Highly recommend!!

18 days ago

A great fire tower hike whether you take the steeper, shorter trail (Our preference) or the longer, easier switchback trail to the top. A beautiful view and not overly crowded.

25 days ago

So many trails in the ADK are straight shots. Lynn's switchback are a welcome change! Great trail! As should be expected, the trail is very wet right now and there was a bit of ice still the last .5 mile to the summit. Had no issues in microspikes. We summited in a cloud!

8 months ago

Coming from Montreal this was a perfect little 1 day roadtrip/hike, took the back roads to get there (Saint-Chrysostome, same time as highway) went through a small borders office (that closes a 4pm)
there's a nice park at the end of Chazy lake, keep an eye out for Lowenburg road to get to the Lyon mountain parking lot, the sign is hidden behind trees.
the hike was great! Starts ordinary and gets more and more technical. Crossed a couple of small creeks, lot's of fallen trees, moss, big boulders etc...
took us 2h to get to the top and 1h15 to get back down, it was a 13km (not 10km as this page says)
The top is amazing, the view is incredible!
That shaky/rattling fire tower is a bit sketchy at first but well worth it, watch your head when you get to the top...

9 months ago

Challenging hike but well worth it. Being a novice hiker I thought I may have picked the wrong trail but we got through it. A moderate challenge but I wouldn't call it difficult. There is one section near the top that has a fairly steep ascent with large rocks on the path that were wet and slick at the time. Other than that it wasn't too bad. It felt very rewarding at the end of the day.

9 months ago

Did this hike early May and learned how the temperature can drop 10 degrees every 1000 feet up. It was snowing at the top and the trail was all snow the last 0.5 miles up. The fire tower was frosty and unfortunately the view was poor because a cloud was sitting right on top of us. Finding the trail head was not too difficult. You go on a dirt road to get to it and there was plenty of parking especially since no one hikes mountains early May! I would like to try this one again in different weather conditions. Overall not hard and the trail was not near as rocky as the ones I have done in the past.

9 months ago

My first hike, and it was a great experience! The way to the top wasn't excessively difficult, but the views were astonishing. We reached the top to find ourselves engulfed in a cloud, and as it passed we eventually saw the beautiful views open up. I would definitely recommend this trail, it has well placed checkpoints and a very clear path.

10 months ago

Nice trail.... Hard for people with no hiking experience like us. We got sun, rain and thunderstorms.... It was good

10 months ago

My hiking partner and I took the switchback trail and found it really nice and relatively easy. Views are gorgeous on the top. I wouldn't claim the switchback trail as hard, but moderate. Only wish there was a sign and the parking lot indicating which way the trail is, even though it's not too hard to figure out.

10 months ago

Great new trail and gorgeous views at the top. Doable for any level of hiker. It was a little muddy in parts, but not a problem. Hiked early yesterday and only encountered a few folks. Met more families on the way down.

10 months ago

Always a beautiful hike and great for kids and first timers. There is a long switch back trail or the old trail that is much shorter but lots of round stones to hurt your ankles! The switchback is my choice. I did once run face to face with a black bear but it thankfully ran off. The view at the top of this mountain is truly breathtaking!

10 months ago

It was a challenging climb, would suggest to moderate climbers. I did the switchback which is still a bit challenging. Love the view of the Chazy lake at the top!

11 months ago

Loved this hike! It was great even with a little bit of rain. A little bit hard to find gps takes you to the town. The hike is off Chazy lake Rd. The trail was beautiful plus very wet. At one point we were walking up what appeared to be a river bed. We weren't sure if we were still on the trail, the markings are there but very spaced out. So if you find yourself in what seems like a riverbed you are going in the right direction, you will see a little red dot as you get higher. It's been very wet this summer but can see how nice the trail would be when it got a little drier. The views are spectacular!

11 months ago

After hiking up the new trail this winter we wanted to check out the old trail which is much steeper but much shorter. It's a tough short hike (if you take the old trail) with rewarding views of Chazy Lake, Lake Champlain, the Adirondack mountains and the green mountains of Vermont!

11 months ago

Nice trail. Hiked the newer trail and it's pretty forgiving. Great view once you get to the top but mostly wooded/ obscured until you get there. Plenty of space on the boulders up top for a nice picnic before making the trek back down. Would recommend!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

good hike still alot of snow at the summit, so be careful when hiking the last 1/4 of the trail, would definitely hike again this summer to check out the view

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Nice trail until the last section, when we went up there was a fair amount of snow and couldn't see where the rocks were under neath the snow, my fiancé and friend ended up twisting their ankles from not being able to see if there was anything under the snow or not.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A few things to keep in mind...

The stretch of road between the main road and the trailhead parking lot is not maintained during winter which means you have to add it to the hike.

Who wrote that the trail was well indicated? Maybe for summer but not for winter, when fresh snow covers the trail and you have to rely on elusive red tags to find your way around. There are not enough tags in my view, especially considering all the trail's twists and turns.

I wore spikes, my choice. I should have worn snowshoes because of all the fresh snow that had fallen the week before.

You will have to make your way through tree branches so protect your eyes with glasses and wear a watertight coat in the winter.

Anyway, I will certainly come back in the summer to enjoy the view!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Took the old trail up as I had been told that it will eliminate 1.5 hours plus there are breaks of sun to help enjoy the hike. It was quite steep, very rocky and corroded in many places. I'd rate the old trail as fairly difficult. You can't beat the view, especially during peak fall season. We descended the old trail and with the fallen leaves and wet conditions, it got slick in many areas. I was just very happy to hike this mountain as I had been visiting this area since I was a baby. If you have children or pets, I recommend the new trail as I heard it is much more moderate of a hike.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Great views from the top but the approach is much too long for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Well marked trail to a beautiful view

Thursday, September 29, 2016

This was a beautiful hike. Leaf season has finally arrived to the North Country, and there is no better time to climb Lyon Mountain then when the fall colors are in bloom. The trail also has been improved and a newer trail now switchbacks across the old steeper, and rockier trail, making this a more friendlier, and gentle climb for children and animals. The new trail is longer at 4 miles and takes about 1.25 hours longer than the old trail to ascend. The tower has amazing views mostly of the SE and NE overlooking Chazy Lake and the High Peaks to the south. I decided to descend the old trail and was pretty amazed at the beautiful views along the trail which the new trail lacks. Its steep and easily descended in ~ 1.5 hours. Overall a great hike, and noteworthy of the Firetower Challenge.

Friday, September 23, 2016

1st time to Lyon, took the old trail on my way up. It was raining and it took me 75 minutes. I wouldn't rate it hard but a good moderate trail. I took the new trail on my way down, took me 90 minutes. The new trail is very good. I just missed the sun to fully enjoy the hike.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nice hike. The new trail is so much easier than the old rutted up one. Lots of switchbacks make this an enjoyable hike. I would rate this hike as moderate, not difficult.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

I took my 15 year old daughter here two years ago. It is a stiff hike going straight up. About 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up she (and I) were awed by the beauty of the path as the rocky trail which cut through pleasant white birch and copper birch trees, gave way to pine trees and heavy moss covered stones which lined the trail on either side. Some of the stones are squared off and massive like a ancient stone wall.
She compared it to some scenes in "Lord of the Rings".
We just came back from it today and along with my daughter (now 17) I brought my 14 year old son. He was just as impressed with its beauty and the incredible view! It was quite windy and cold when we reached the summit. A hoodie would have been nice. A huge cloud bank had engulfed the summit but the strong winds blew it over and through the pines. Our patience was rewarded with incredible views all the way around!

We chose to go straight back down as opposed to the easier but meandering path down. It seems to take forever with that meandering path. My knees were aching by the time I got down to the bottom but nothing a glass of wine couldn't repair!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

great hike, nice views from the fire tower

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Loved this hike!! I did this with my family of four, my son the youngest is 11.
It was our first hike of the season and it was challenging yet very doable, even for me because I am the least in shape out of my whole crew.
Also in comparison to other mountains, this was probably my favorite summit, there are so many places to go and explore at top and many places to settle down for lunch if it's a busy day.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

1st time at Lyon Mountain. Took the old trail, which is considered harder than the new one, but faster. We wanted a challenge and got one. Took us 1hour15minutes to get to the top, but by taking very short breaks and by sweating bullets (we're also 2 mid-20s men) . View is amazing on the summit. Took the new trail(easiest one) to come down and believe it or not, it was longer than the old one (and we were going down, not climbing).

Great hike!

Monday, July 04, 2016

I hiked this trail on the strong recommendation of several people! The trail is true to description and is moderately difficult. The view on top of the tower is the best one I have experienced. This is one of the more peaceful, picturesque hikes around.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Great hike and excellent views from the firetower of Lake Champlain the high peaks and Montreal. The trail is moderately difficult towards the last half with plenty of switchbacks.

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