This is it, last fire tower from the challenge. Back in March this year, I noticed I’d already had hiked to seven of the fire towers over the years, so I decided to do a push and finish the list this year, twenty one towers (later twenty two) in all. Hurricane I had decided back in July was going to be my finish due to the views from the summit. Mother Nature had other plans.
I had originally scheduled Hurricane for the weekend before. Due to the rain forecast, I decided to push it off one week, thinking it would be nicer. Nope. All week I watched, and by Thursday, it was apparent that it would either be raining, or rain would be threatening. With hunting season starting soon, and temperatures and conditions changing with the Fall season, I said “screw it” and went.
Since I had done Pillsbury the day before, I stayed overnight in Saranac Lake so I wouldn’t have such a long drive from home. Arrived at Crows Clearing about 8:30. I had four other people say they were going to come, but realistically wasn’t expecting anyone to show up since three of the four are notorious for saying they want to go, but not going. It got to be 9:15, my cutoff time, when I heard a car driving up. Yah! One person actually made it. In a few minutes we were off onto the trail.
Due to all the rain, the trail was a wet and sloppy mess. Mud, puddles, slippery rocks. In about half an hour we got to the Gulf Brook lean to. This was the easy part of the trail, from here it’s two miles of going up, up, and up, getting more soaked as the light rain wasn’t letting up.
Eventually we met up with the Route 9N trail, just a tenth of a mile from the summit. This was the fun part of the hike, doing some rock scrambling, open face hiking, etc. Too bad you couldn’t see very far. Couldn’t even see the tower till we were less than 200 feet from it. While we were at the summit, two more groups of people showed up.
After a little while we headed back down, meeting several more people, so it looks like we were the first up there today. Checked out a beaver pond and a couple waterfalls also.
So, Fire Tower Challenge complete, but there are several I will re-hike later, since they were all socked in by clouds this summer, like Mt Adams, Poke-o-moonshine, Belfry, Loon Lake, Wakely, Balsam Lake, Red Hill, Pillsbury, and now Hurricane.
- 5.72 miles
- 1657 feet elev gained
- 3 hours 59 minutes