HADLEY, NY (30 minutes from Lake George)

Hadley Mountain is just outside beautiful Lake Luzerne, about 30 minutes east of Lake George. What awaits you at the top is a fire tower, erected years ago when a series of wild fires ripped through the Adirondacks. As a kid, I remember seeing these towers dotting the mountainscape as our car went whizzing down the highway. Now, most of them are gone. The Hadley fire tower still stands, long ago abandoned, as a beacon to hike to.

It is a bit difficult finding this trail. Directions are at the bottom.

An hour and a half later—to go, mind you, a mere mile—I find the fire tower. There is also an older wooden cabin off to the right that was first in use.

The solitude is just phenomenal. Where else do you get views like this? What I would do to get a job with this view all day. Where do I apply?

On the way back down, but a hundred yards from where I stood, I found fresh Coyote prints–really fresh. Was it watching me enjoy the scenery it takes for granted every day? Or watching me, thinking, “Tastes just like chicken” or….

Was it just following the fresh scent of bear that also just passed through?

How to get there:

Exit 21 on the Northway (Route 87), Lake George, NY.

Make a left and follow to Lake Luzerne.

When you hit the Stewarts, make a right.

Go a few hundred yards to Old Bridge Road, make a left.

Go over bridge and you will see, around the bend a big sign that points to the right, “Tower”. This is where you start to lose cell service.

Make a right and follow till you hit Hadley Hill Rd (about 3 miles), and turn left.

Up Hadley Hill Rd till you hit a small sign that says “Tower Road” (about 4 miles).

Mark a right and follow about 1.5 miles, and you will see parking on the left. This is a single lane, unpaved road, so drive carefully.

What to Expect:

This hike is about 1.2 miles. The sign-in station on the bottom says a “fast” speed gets you there in 1 hour, average 2 hours. It didn’t dawn on me right away that a mile hike takes the average person over an hour….Translation: steep.

Conveniently located about 2,500 feet up is a large boulder in the middle of the path appropriately called the “resting boulder.” And yes, I rested.

The trail is very rocky, with intermittent large slabs of flat rock, covered with leaves. In short, can be slippery.

When you reach the top, you’re not home yet. You walk to the right along very flat ground for a bit, and then it gets mighty steep again. This steep climb leads you to the fire tower. You can climb the stairs, but the enclosure is sealed off. When you climb the stairs, you will feel the wind speed increase dramatically.

You’ll see Great Sacandaga in the background.

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