Hadley Mountain is a 1.75-mile hike (3.5 miles round trip) to an open summit and firetower that provides great panoramic views of the southern Adirondacks
1.75 miles (3.5 miles round trip)
Hadley, Saratoga County
Southern Adirondacks, west of Hadley and Lake Luzerne
Hiking, Snowshoeing Trail
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Hadley Mountain
The Hadley Mountain Trail is a popular hike in the southern Adirondacks. The trail is well-worn and heavily eroded in places. The trailhead and parking area can be accessed from Hadley Road, south of Stony Creek in Warren County. The mountain and the entire trail are on public Forest Preserve, part of the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. The Hadley Mountain Trail is about 3.5 miles round trip and varies between steep and gentle sections. It is a trail of moderate difficulty, but that provides a big payoff with a panoramic view from the firetower on the summit.
The Trail Up Hadley Mountain
The trail starts from the parking area. There is a privy at the base of this trail, as well as one near the top. The trail is clearly marked, well-defined, and easy to follow. The first half of the trail is quite steep, and often traverses over bedrock, which could be slippery in wet conditions. In many places herd paths have been trod on the trailside around heavily eroded areas, extensively widening the trail. In the initial sections, the trail climbs through a forest heavy with beech and with plenty of maple, birch, and ash.
About halfway to the summit, the trail flattens out and follows along a ridge for about a mile, gradually gaining elevation. This area has quite a few oaks, and there is a beautiful view of the sky through them to each side and above during the summer months when the leaves are thick.
After this stretch along the ridge, the trail turns to the right at a rocky outcrop, before reaching the summit. Along this ridge, hikers pass juneberry bushes. Close to the summit, there is an overlook spot on the left of the trail that provides a great view to the south. There are two side trails, one leading to a privy, the other to a small cabin that had been used by Forest Rangers/Observers in the past, but is now used periodically by the summit steward in the summer.
The section of trail to reach the summit is quite steep. The summit is a large rocky area with plenty of visible places to look out at nearby mountains like Crane Mountain to the north, and Spruce Mountain to the west, as well as views of the Hudson River and Great Sacandaga Lake.
The View from the Top of Hadley Mountain
The firetower is in good condition. There are terrific views from every level. For those who are leery of climbing a firetower, there are plenty of great views from many spots on the rocky and open summit. There are plenty of good rock ledges for sitting, but not much to block the wind (which can be chilly but keeps bugs away).
The return trip is a breeze, the flat section near the top going by in a flash, and the only difficulty being stressed joints on particularly steep sections closer to the bottom. Overall, a beautiful hike, accessible for anyone who is comfortable with some steep sections and, of course, able to walk the full three and a half miles.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Hadley Mountain.
When You Hike Make Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” to Protect the Forest Preserve and Be Prepared
Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and 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: Hadley Mountain is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter. It is not practical for cross-country skiing.