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Guidebook Getaway: Hike to Panoramic Views Atop a Historic Fire Lookout in the Adirondacks

With fall colors emerging, our latest Guidebook Getaway showcases a mountaintop view (lookout tower included) in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.

Guidebook Getaway is an occasional feature of The REI Blog where we dip into REI’s guidebook assortment and pull out a complete trip description for your consideration.

It’s free, and it’s available in PDF form so you can print it out and take it with you on the trail.


Today’s pick: the peak of Owls Head Mountain near Long Lake, N.Y., where a restored fire tower offers a 360-degree view of hundreds of forested acres below.

It’s one of the choice offerings found in Five-Star Trails in the Adirondacks by Tim Starmer, published by Menasha Ridge Press.

Get the free trail description. Or, buy the complete book.

With a little more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain over the 3.1 miles to the 2,818-foot summit, Starmer ranks the trip as suitable for family trips, though near the top the route steepens and passes through “exposed portions of ledge….You will need to use both hands in several sections.” The publisher tells us the author believes the route is suitable for older children, but maybe not youngsters.

View from Owls Head Mountain

Our friends at Menasha Ridge asked Starmer what makes this trip especially appealing in autumn. The photo on the left, shot from the lookout tower, should tell you everything you need to know. But here's what Starmer had to say:

“The panoramic views from atop Owls Head are particularly spectacular during the fall foliage season,” he said. “By climbing the accessible fire tower on the summit, you have a 360-degree view of the surrounding hills and lakes."

Other recent Guidebook Getaways:

Hike to the Highest Point East of the Mississippi (near Asheville, N.C.).
Hike to a 50-foot Waterfall Outside Salt Lake City.


Photos © Menasha Ridge Press.

Posted on at 10:00 AM

Tagged: Adirondacks, Five-Star Trails, Guidebook Getaways, Owls Head Mountain and guidebooks

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Jennifer Domanski Staff Member

This post makes me so happy! I love this trail! I'm an REI employee who began my love affair with the outdoors visiting my family in Long Lake, NY so it's a real treat to see my favorite views featured by REI!

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