Ten years ago, we started hiking the Adirondack mountains. As beginners, we started with mountains that were not part of the High Peaks. At the time, Hurricane Mountain seemed like a good choice. Well, I found the climb steep and very difficult. Needless to say, when we decided to go back at it this month, I was a little bit concerned.
Hurricane Mountain isn’t a high Peak at 3694 feet, but it’s still a really great and popular hike in the Adirondacks. It is one of the lowest bald peaks in the area with the tree line at about 3450 feet at the main trail junction. It also offers great views of most of the lower great range. This peak offers a huge open summit with spectacular views. Also, on top of the mountain, you’ll see one of the few remaining fire towers, which was discontinued for use as a fire observation station in 1979.
By the time we got to the Route 9N trailhead outside of Keene, the air was feeling cool but the sky was totally blue. Knowing that we had a hefty 2,000 ft. to climb in just 2.6 miles, we set out on the trail with our spirits high. Our spirits were quickly humbled by the immediate vertical climb that welcomed us. After this initial altitude jump, we enjoyed a brief respite from the vertical climb, by way of a relatively easy stroll through flatlands that were filled with a large pond (caused by beaver dams).
It was all uphill from there. The trail went straight up the mountain again, utilizing various old riverbeds and other rocky-havens, looking like we climbed over 1,000 vertical feet in just under one mile. Finally, after roughly two-hours from parking, we set foot on the bald, rocky peak. Having climbed a fair share of peaks in the park by now, I can happily report that Hurricane is one of the best views I’ve experienced in the park, and definitely the best view from a peak that is not included in the 46 highest (Hurricane is #72). The 360-degree view includes both the High Peaks, Whiteface and Vermont (Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains). This, coupled with the abandoned and rusting firetower, make this a day-hike not to be missed.