Owls Head Mountain is a terrific 3.1-mile through beautiful forests that leads to a firetower with panoramic views of the central Adirondacks.
Owls Head Mountain
3.1 miles (6.2 miles round-trip)
Long Lake, Hamilton County
Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing
The Hike Owls Up Owls Head
Owls Head Mountain is a 3.1-mile hike outside of Long Lake. The trail is on public Forest Preserve in the Sargent Pond Wild Forest. The trailhead parking lot is on Endion Road, off of Route 30, just north of Long Lake. Featuring beautiful full canopy forests, numerous stream crossings, and a spectacular 360-degree firetower view from the summit, the Owls Head Mountain trail is a dynamic one that offers a quality adventure for all those who hike it.
The Owls Head Hiking Trail
The hike starts at a trailhead and parking lot on Endion Road. The trail register stands at the back of the parking lot. Make sure to sign in. The trail starts with a footbridge crossing followed by a moderate incline through a mid-successional hardwood forest. The trail is easy to follow and well-marked. Soon the trail veers right after a short distance, crosses over a series of boardwalks and muddy stretches, before arriving at a trail junction at the 1-mile mark.
After the trail junction, the trail cuts left towards the ascent to the summit. The path intersects with frequently crosses small streams with stepping stone pathways. The trail is mostly flat and smooth in this section and gradually gains elevation. The surrounding northern hardwood forest on the trail contains many ash, maples, white pines, beech, and yellow birch.
Two miles in, the trail starts its ascent to the summit. The trail in this section is steep, rocky, with lots of exposed tree roots. At about 0.3 miles from the mountaintop the trail drops into a small valley between two lower peaks. Soon, the trail winds by the old site of the firetower observer’s cabin, where just the foundation’s cement blocks remain.
The Mountaintop of Firetower on Owls Head
The final push to the summit is steep and rocky and requires agile hiking. The trail has lots of roots and crags as it reaches the summit. The summit is open and grassy, stretching out over fifty yards. The view from the open rock slabs of the summit provides great views of Long Lake and Blue Mountain for those who do not enjoy climbing up firetowers. There are lots of places to sit and rest.
The views from the upper levels of the firetower are spectacular. The firetower yields views of the High Peaks, Whitney Park, and the seemingly endless rolling hills, lakes, and mountains of the central Adirondacks.
As an out-and-back trail, the descent follows the same path used to hike to the top.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Owls Head Mountain.
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 all 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: Owls Head Mountain is used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter as well as for cross-country skiing.