Spruce Mountain Fire Tower Hike, Southern Adirondacks

They say opposites attract. I like to go go go, while Jeff wouldn’t mind staying at home sometimes. A lot of times I’ll run us ragged, and he has to step in and tell us to slow down. Well, when you’re with someone for a long time they say you rub off on one another. I really wanted to hike Spruce Mountain [Spruce Mountain Road, South Corinth] and saw that there were only a few days till hunting season began (Starting in mid fall running through December). I schemed we would have just enough time to get up to the southern Adirondacks and do the short hike up to the fire tower before it got dark. So I asked Jeff and surprisingly, it was an easy yes. We made the drive, parked the car, and took the hike directly continuing at the end of the road… I assumed this trail was 1.2 miles roundtrip. No big deal, we eat that for breakfast, we could certainly do it by nightfall. We followed the blue blazes up,

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_1past the creek,

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_and into the woods.

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_2The sun was quickly setting, as it always does around dusk, and the trail seemed steep. I could swear this feels more than a half mile, I kept thinking to myself. Finally we broke out of the dense forest, and thanked my lucky stars, we must be almost there!

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_3The trail continued on though, for quite a bit of time. We discussed turning back before it got too dark. We drove all the way up here, I knew we had to be close, Jeff answered yes, we can go on. FINALLY we spotted the firetower in the distance, the most beautiful sight of all, and I practically ran up to it, even though I was slightly exhausted from trucking up that mountain at full speed.

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_4Up, up, up, and we got to the cabin, which was enclosed in glass and, heated! What a nice surprise. The views were gorgeous, that Adirondack forest always steals my heart. For a moment I was calmed, at peace, happy.

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_5 spruce_mountain_fire_tower_8 spruce_mountain_fire_tower_7 spruce_mountain_fire_tower_6Then my brain started working again. The sun was low, snap one more shot and hurriedly head back down the mountain.

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_9Back inside the forest it was much darker than under the open sky, and only getting darker. Going down should be easier, right? We were practically running at certain parts, but when it got real dark in there, we had to slow down. Don’t want to trip over a root or rock and break an ankle now. Eventually visibility was down to almost zero, and I started panicking. I was loosing my intuition on the trail and stumbling over everything. I really thought we might have to spend the night in the woods, and all episodes of Survivorman were running through my head. It wasn’t freezing yet, we’d probably be okay, but with absolutely no supplies it would have been a terrible night. I relinquished my lead of the trail to Jeff who kept his cool. We actually passed by a father and his son walking into the woods in the dark, and mentioned we were about a quarter of a mile out. As you might have guessed, we made it back to the car.

spruce_mountain_fire_tower_10Welp, I wish Jeff had said no to me that night about taking on a mountain with barely enough time. I also wish I read the information correctly, and realized it was 2.4 miles roundtrip with a 1,000 foot elevation gain, not simply 1.2. Lessons learned, use more common sense instead of crazily wanting to do everything in the world. I will never take another hike without way more than enough daylight to complete it. Also always bring a little survival kit, just in case. Hunting season is over and the mountain is once again safe to hike, the views are tremendous and it’s a great trail. Go and enjoy, just make sure you give yourself enough daylight to hike this awesome little trail!

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