UPDATE: SEPT 2016 THE SPRUCE MOUNTAIN FIRE TOWER HAS A NEW TRAIL AND THE REFURBISHED FIRE TOWER IS NOW ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC.
Located in the southeast corner of the Adirondack Park in Upstate New York, Spruce mountain is not one of the major peaks of the park. However this peak does offer some good and bad contrasts. It offers a study on the affects of human overuse of the land and the beginning of the area restoring itself. The land is part of logging land owned by paper companies and leased by hunters. The land has seen abuse by careless loggers, 4-wheelers, snowmobilers, hunters, 4-wheel drive vehicles, and local teenagers. Although the land has taken a beating it is refreshing to know that part of the mountain was purchased by a local land conservation group known as the Saratoga P.L.A.N. The group has helped to restore the land and rebuild the dilapidated fire tower that sits on it's 2009ft wooded summit. Along with a beautiful new trail built by a professional ADK Mountain Club trail crew, the mountaintop tower offers excellent views of the Southern Adirondacks. The 73' fire tower was built on the summit in 1928, and was manned until 1988. Although the summit is also accessible by a gated service road leading to the numerous radio towers and buildings surrounding the fire tower, there is still a sense of nature in restoration along the foot trail. This hike is on the list for the Fire Tower Challenge
, by the ADK Mountain Club.
Getting There Trailhead Directions:
From Saratoga Springs, NY, head north on rte 9N towards Corinth. Shortly after passing through South Corinth take a left on Wells Rd., Drive this road for a few miles until it T's, take a right on Spruce Mtn. Rd (Not Signed) and just a few hundred yards down this road there will be a dead end sign, pass the gated entrance to the fire tower access rd on the left, and proceed to a parking area marked with a DEC Sign for the Spruce Mountain Trailhead.
The trail begins with an immediate crossing over a small brook on an old concrete bridge, it then heads up a hill and then bears left towards the summit. The hike is about 2 miles in length and winds it's way to the summit through pine and deciduous forest.
Note: Abundant wildlife observed including: deer, chipmunks, rabbits, grouse, snakes, birds, butterflies etc. keep your eyes peeled!
There is no overnight camping on Saratoga P.L.A.N. preserve land or easements.