Every time we plan for a hike, we rely on our High Peaks map… but it’s getting more and more difficult to find new 5-hour hikes. We have done them all, and more. So, I started looking for hikes a bit further away from Lake Placid. And I found a hidden gem in the Adirondacks! The 3520 foot Mount Adams features a fire tower with amazing views of the high peaks from the South looking North over Calamity Mountain.
In 2010, the fire tower was damaged by wind storms, and again in 2011, because of Hurricane Irene, including the top of the tower blowing off. After two years of major renovations from dedicated volunteers, the fire tower is again open.
This starts out as a flat, easy, but lovely hike. Just after a few minutes on the trail, you walk across the Hudson River on a newly rebuilt swinging iron suspension bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011. The river is rushing under you as you look through the wide mesh crosswalk.
Once past the Hudson River, a level walk takes you to Lake Jimmy. The trail was rerouted in 2013 to veer around the lake, rather than the old crossing of the lake whose remnants still float on the lake. In less than a mile, right after the old cabin, you’ll find and climb the trail that leads to the Mount Adams fire tower.
Pretty quickly, it begins to climb in elevation, and turns into quite a fun challenge. Be ready for some scrambling and root-grabbing on the way up. In some areas, with each step forward, I came two steps backward. Elsewhere, getting down on my hands and knees was the only option. Also watch your footing on the way down, especially if it’s wet out. I had to do some careful sliding down on my butt at times!
It started to seem like the mountain did not want me to get to the top! After a good one to two hours of maneuvering up the trail, I finally reached the summit. But, the views at the top of the fire tower were breath-taking, and so worth the effort.