Navigating Nature: Hurricane Mountain – Take a Hike |

With fall in the air, officially starting this past week, I wanted to hike during my favorite time of year. The bugs are pretty well gone, the temperatures are cool and perfect for hiking and at least during the weekdays, the trails are not too crowded. I contacted my friend Sue Coonrod knowing she would be up for a walk in the woods. After discussing a few choices, we picked Hurricane Mountain. Now that that was settled, we had to choose which trail to ascend by. There are three trails up this mountain. One trail is from Crow Clearing (North Trail) 3 miles one way, one from Hurricane Lane (East Trail) 2.7 miles one way and our choice, the one that starts off Route 9N, 3.4 miles one way (South Trail). We chose the southern approach as neither of us had hiked it in a while.

Hitting the trail at 7:30 am there were no other cars in the parking area. In 2014, the trail was partially relocated and now has several switchbacks avoiding the steeper older route. Right from the start, you begin climbing for about 0.3 miles with it leveling off for a bit after that. Boardwalks are in abundance on this trail and to the trail maintenance crews I give a big thank you. Crossing one of these wooden walkways I’m always on the alert for the iconic Adirondack moose but alas no sightings this morning. We had an older man pass us (moving pretty fast I must say) and I whispered to Sue, “ How old do you think he is?” She laughed as she replied, “About our age.”

The dew was glistening on the cedar trees and the fog was lifting off the bogs. Every once in a while we would come upon a tree with vivid red or yellow leaves, a sure sign that autumn was knocking on our door. We both had started off with long sleeves, but it did not take long to shed a layer. As we continued on, we came upon the sawed off end of a tree with an artistic face made from birch bark. You never know what you will see on the trail.

Up and up we huffed and puffed (at least I was huffing and puffing). At 2.8 miles, we arrived at a ledge with a view of the firetower. The summit looks further away than it really is and soon we reached the junction of the Crow Clear trail. Before we knew it, we were climbing the rocky approach just before the top. I had to turn around several times just to take in the incredible mountainous view.

The firetower is open to climb 24/7 which I am grateful for. Up I climbed excited to see four panoramic panels of views of the north, south, east and west hanging above my head. Each of the mountains were labeled which was so interesting to easily identify which mountains you are looking at. The view encompasses Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains in Vermont as well as many high peaks. That being said, if you don’t like heights and decline to climb the tower the view from the summit is just as good.

We hung out on the top for more than a half an hour, cooling off, having lunch (at 1030 in the morning) and just taking in the beauty that lay before us. How lucky are we to have this summit all to ourselves? We discussed that next time we would spot a car and do a loop. All too soon, it was time to head back.

Meeting several friendly hikers on our way down we exchanged pleasantries as we passed by. Arriving at our cars Sue and I said our goodbyes and were on our way until our next adventure.

Hurricane is a fun hike with a great firetower to climb. The 360 degree view is better than many views in the high peaks. As I sign off, I have to agree with John Muir when he wrote, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” Happy Trails.

Peru resident Joanne Kennedy is a photographer and writer who can be found exploring the many lakes and mountains in the Adirondacks or other wilderness areas. She enjoys sharing the unique places she visits in the natural world with her readers. Reach her at

Directions: The trail leaves the N side of NY 9N, 3.5 miles E of the junction of NY 9N and NY73 between Keene and Keene Valley.

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