The trail to the summit of Owls Head Mountain offers gorgeous views of New York's Adirondacks region. This trail guide will help you navigate!
The Owls Head Mountain Trail in Long Lake, New York, leads to the summit of Owls Head Mountain. It's right in between Long Lake and Lake Eaton, making it a great hike for anyone visiting either lake area.
Hike it for gorgeous views of the Adirondacks, and then climb the Fire Tower at the summit for even more incredible views!
How Long Is the Trail?
This is an out-and-back trail that's 3.1 miles each direction, 6.2 miles total.
How Difficult Is This Trail?
The Owls Head Mountain Trail is rated as moderately difficult.
Personally, I thought it was fairly difficult, but I'm probably still recovering from a case of pneumonia earlier in the year.
The trail rises 1,532 feet in elevation, but almost all of the elevation change comes in the last third of the trail (the final mile).
Miles one and two are fairly easy, with minimal elevation changes. Mile three includes lots of elevation changes and some (fairly easy) rock scrambling.
We found our trekking poles invaluable.
Staying Found on the Owls Head Mountain Trail
This trail is clearly marked with red trail markers (pictured below). Any intersections with other trails are also clearly marked with signs.
Hiking the Owls Head Mountain Trail
Start at the trailhead. The parking area is fairly small, but we were able to find a spot without a problem.
The path starts off relatively easy, with a few wooden bridges in place to help you avoid walking in the mud.
About a mile into the hike, you'll reach a trail junction. This trail intersects with a snowmobile trail.
Stay left to keep following the signs for Owls Head Mountain.
At the next intersection, you'll stay to the right. The snowmobile path goes left.
This junction is also clearly marked.
After about two miles of hiking, the path begins to rise in elevation.
Be prepared for lots of uphill hiking.
We also encountered a few downed trees in this section, but nothing that was impassable.
At the steepest section, the path becomes extra rocky. Watch your footing and remember that some of the rocks along the path may be loose.
Once you reach the ruins of the old Observer's Cabin, you're getting close! There's just a little bit more uphill to go.
Finally, you'll reach a clearing and see a large fire tower. This means you're at the top!
Look for the summit marker at the base of the fire tower.
If you're feeling brave, climb the fire tower steps for even more incredible views.
Personally, I'm just a tiny bit afraid of heights and was a little surprised at how nerve-wracking I found the climb up the fire tower and the view from the top.
I've climbed fire towers before (such as the one in Pipestem State Park in West Virginia), but this one moved a little with the wind, and the boards moved under my feet as I stepped. While I'm certain it was all in my head, I didn't enjoy the climb up.
Happily, there are also phenomenal views of the area from the (much more solid) ground. After climbing the tower, we walked over to a rocky overlook and had a snack.
Rest up at the top, and then head back down the way you came, back to the trailhead.