Picture this: a cool fall afternoon. Light, crisp breeze. Reds and oranges and yellows dotting the mountainscape in front of you, to the side of you, all around you. A field of dark green pine, a field of bright yellow birch. Soft patches of sand beneath your feet.
This is the picture I painted for Mark of my first trip up Hurricane Mountain in the fall years ago. We were packing up our gear for his first hike up Hurricane in the winter of 2017. However, that hike and the one we did last weekend would end up being nothing like my first beautiful fall hike.
Instead, picture dark and moody. Low clouds and spitting snow. Imagine icy wind whipping through every layer of clothing.
But oh Hurricane, you are still one of my favorites.
Trailhead: 3.5 miles on Route 9N, off Route 73, North of Keene
Distance: 7 miles, round trip (although the sign says 6)
Elevation Gain: 2,000′
This mountain features a firetower at the top, and in each of my three hikes that tower has been in three different states:
- In complete disrepair, stairs removed to discourage brave climbers.
- Fixed! Beautiful! Open cabin and magnificent views!
- Roof is literally in the process of being blown off.
This mountain is reclaiming it’s authority, and it’s happening in a pretty bad-ass way. Mark and I both recognized we didn’t need to be made a lesson in how powerful nature can be, so we snapped a few pics and ran for cover.
I literally ran, because the wind was brutal. And it was cold. Which is a real shame, because the near-360-degree views are astonishing. I’ve never not been amazed by the expansiveness of the Adirondacks from my little perch on top of Hurricane Mountain.
But this hike really is worth the trip. As long as you’re prepared.
Get ready for the climb.
You really do go up! Other mountains give you a little gradual incline for a mile-or-so to warm up before the up. Not the case with Hurricane. Your warm up is the up!
Get ready for the wind.
This is one of those mountains where you’re more likely to have a windy day than a calm day. In the spring, fall, summer and winter, bring a coat. Or an extra coat. Keep in mind that we’ve done a season or two of winter hiking with temps as low as 15 degrees, and this was the only hike I’ve ever felt my usual winter attire was not adequate. So be safe and bring extra.
Get ready for that view.
It’s pretty cool.