Hadley Mountain Fire Tower

Delightful hike, sometimes steep, but a very rewarding payoff from the fire tower.

Hike Length: 3.3 miles (5.31 km)

Total Ascent: 1,450ft (442m)

Intensity: Moderate Adirondacks Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Stream Crossing

Parent Hadley

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photo of fire tower at Hadley Mountain

Hadley Mountain Fire Tower

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 A straightforward out-and-back, a little steep at times.

Hadley Mountain Fire Tower is a quick, moderate hike with amazing views. This is a very popular hike.

The hike is a little steep, especially for new mountain hikers. But there are no rock scrambles or difficult technical sections. Just take your time, and make sure you have proper footwear and traction.

This hike is short, steep and scenic.

Allow 2-3 hours from start to finish.

Hadley Mountain Trailhead & Parking

Tower Road, where the trailhead is located, is a dirt road. I’m not sure of the status during winter, if this last section of road gets plowed or not. Check ahead/online after snow.

However, it’s a generous parking lot. There’s enough room for maybe 20 cars.

Hadley Mountain Hiking Trail

This hike does include a stream crossing — but it’s really more of a brook.

Lots of open rock face on the lower sections of trail so, when it’s wet and slippery, make sure you’ve got on your best hiking boots. Any kind of ice will necessitate spikes.

The trail begins in a lovely evergreen stand, then passes into deciduous woods until close to the summit. It’s a really nice mix of forest types: beach, birch, maple, oak, with some spruce mixed in, increasing as you climb.

Follow the red blazes.

Everything about Hadley is lovely. There are lots of dramatic glacial boulders to pass on the way up.

Hadley mountain glacial erratic
Glacial erratic on Hadley Mountain

On AllTrails, people complain about this trail being muddy, but it’s not Adirondacks High Peaks muddy. (I suspect the real problem is that people come up here wearing sneakers, i.e. not adequately prepared for a mountain hike.)

Pass-through a dramatic broken rock band to begin the final climb.

Just before the summit ridge, there’s a good scenic view between two spruce trees.

Hadley Mountain scenic view
Hadley Mountain View below fire tower

The summit proper is maple, beach, spruce, and a lot of nice gnarly birch trees. Great views from the summit.

Even better views from the fire tower.

Hadley Mountain scenic view
Hadley Mountain Fire tower view

Below, you can also make out the old fire tower cabin.

Hadley Mountain
Scenic view from Hadley Mountain Fire tower

Hadley Fire Tower has the smallest cabin entrance I’ve ever used. I had to take off my backpack and push it through ahead of me, separately — and then, on the way out, pull it down after me. I loved it.

fire tower cabin at Hadley Mountain
Hadley Mountain Fire tower cabin

Looking southwest, the view is of Great Sacandaga Lake.

scenic view of lake and clouds
View south from Hadley Mountain over Great Sacandaga Lake

Hidden by the clouds in this photo, but visible on a clear day, are the northern Catskills — Windham High Peak, Blackhead, etc.

From here, make your way back downhill the way you came. Please leave the cabin as you found it. If the windows have been left open on a cold or wet day, please close and lock them shut.

Hadley Bow Bridge

On my route to the Hadley Mountain trailhead, I passed through the town of Hadley, and over a fun parabolic bridge.

According to WikiPedia it is “the only surviving iron semi-deck lenticular truss bridge in the state, and the only extant of three known to have been built.”

A sign on one side of the bridge reads:



On the way home, I pulled off the road into a small roadside park. It was worth it to get these photos…

Hadley Bow Bridge
Hadley Bow Bridge over the Sacandaga River

bow bridge seen from bridge
Hadley Bow Bridge over the Sacandaga River

The bridge is apx 1.3 cars wide — so you have to time your crossings well. 😉

Similar Hikes

If you like short hikes, check out this list of short hikes.

And here’s a list of the fire tower hikes I’ve completed so far.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Hadley.

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Medium-sized lot for a very popular destination.

Google Maps Location: 43.373462, -73.950604

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Cell service only when up high. At lower elevations you’ll need to get to the nearby town of Hadley. My network is Verizon. YMMV.