Amazing views of the Adirondack Mountains are revealed at a mountain peak east of Keene New York. Verplanck Colvin conducted a topographic survey of the Adirondack Wilderness in 1873, finding Hurricane Mountain with “the most impressive views of any of the lesser peaks”.
Hurricane Mountain is within 6.1 million acres of Adirondack Park annually visited by an estimated 7-10 million. Three trails lead to the 3,694’ summit, from the east, north, and south. The southern trailhead is directly south of Hurricane Mountain, starting at route 9N. The trailhead starts 1800’ elevation heading north rising 1900’ to the summit.
Northern trail access starts with a drive east from Keene on Hurricane Road (route 13). At the end of O’Toole lane is the trailhead at 2200’ elevation. A moderate ascent over 5.2 miles takes an experienced hiker 4 hours round trip. With an ascent of 1500’ it takes those in poor shape 5 hours. The trailhead starts in a southeast direction turning south to the summit.
The east trail was the access route used by fire tower observers, but unfortunately this trailhead is presently closed. Two miles east of Elizabethtown a dirt road branches northward from route 9N, at 1,100’ elevation. The dirt road becomes a trail at 2,000’ elevation.
Hurricane Mountain Fire Observation Station is atop a large summit. A 35-foot Aermotor LS40 fire tower was constructed in 1919 with a lean to type observers cabin. The summit view is expansive providing a reason to rest, snack, hydrate and absorb the view. To the east are Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont. South and Northwest are many Adirondack High Peaks.
Elizabethtown is a town in Essex County east of Hurricane Mountain with 1,163 inhabitants in 83 square miles. It is 106 miles north of Albany NY, 27 miles southwest of Burlington VT, and 92 miles south of Montreal Canada.
The town was first settled in 1792 calling itself “Pleasant Valley”. In early days the lumber industry and iron ore processing were important to its economy. Now tourism is essential to its survival.
Keene is a town at 1,358 feet elevation with 1,105 population in an area of 156 square miles. Radiating from the town trails lead to many Adirondack High Peaks. Keene has four Inns for lodging, with three eating facilities and a bakery. Keen Valley is a hamlet south of Keene on route 73 primarily a vacation stop. It has four Inns for lodging, two Bed and Breakfasts, and four eateries.
Keene New York is 276 miles from Rochester taking a 5 hour 15 minute drive. One driving route to Keene is US 90 thruway east past Syracuse to Utica exiting route 8 north. Continue on route 8 north past route 28 to US 87 north. Drive north taking route 73 to Keene.
Come and visit to see why 10 million tourists visit the Adirondack Park each year. It won’t be a disappointment.