The trail to Big Crow Mountain and Little Crow Mountain is short and steep but provides numerous peaks and outcrops with sweeping views of the High Peaks

Big Crow Mountain and Little Crow Mountain
1.2 miles (2.4 miles round trip)
Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
Keene, Essex County
Hiking, Snowshoeing
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

 

Hike Big Crow Mountain and Little Crow Mountain

The 1.4-mile trail to Big Crow Mountain and Little Crow Mountain runs across a pair of small peaks on East Hill in the Town of Keene in Essex County. The Crows are located in the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness Area. The 1.2-mile trail is a popular hike because it’s short and provides sweeping views of the High Peaks and Great Range.

The trailhead and parking area are at the end of O’Toole Road, a dirt road at the end of East Hill Road and Hurricane Road. This is the same parking area for the 6-mile Soda Range loop, which is a spectacular hike.

 

 

The hike begins through a pleasant young mixed forest lined with a thick understory of bunchberries and other wildflowers. The trail initially winds over some rocks but begins to rise steeply after about 0.2 miles. The route to the summit of Big Crow is only 0.6 miles from the trailhead, however, the climb is steep and rocky, though the trail is generally in good condition. After about 0.4 miles, the trail reaches a junction with the Soda Range Trail, which branches off to the right, providing access for a counterclockwise traverse of the 6-mile loop trail that returns to the parking lot.

Big Crow Mountain

On the final ascent, the trail passes over sections of exposed bedrock, and the view begins to open up through the trees. Soon, the trail emerges onto Big Crow’s wide summit. Hurricane Mountain rises up to the northeast, marked by its firetower, and Giant Mountain looms even greater in the background. Views of the High Peaks and Great Range are clear to the southeast. To the southwest, Little Crow sits just at the end of the small ridge connecting the two peaks.

 

Little Crow Mountain

Continuing on, the route follows a few rock cairns along the bedrock summit before dropping down through the forest and away from the cliffs. There are several herd paths to the scenic vistas along the way, but the main trail follows red trail markers. The path winds down through a dense stand of small conifers before flattening out in an open shallow ravine.

From this spot, the trail rises up slightly one final time for the final climb onto Little Crow’s summit. The area is unmarked and less spacious than Big Crow, but the vantage allows for a more expansive view to the east.

 

The hike out is the same as the hike in.

When You Hike Make Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” to be Prepared and to Protect the Forest Preserve

Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and follow other Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the public Forest Preserve and other wild areas. The seven Leave No Trace principles are: 1) Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Stay on hiking trails and camp at designated areas; 3) Dispose of human waste and trash properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfires; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Respect other hikers.

Educated hikers do not damage the environment. Prepared hikers do not need search and rescue unless injured.

Winter Use: The Crows are popular trail for snowshoeing in the winter.

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