Two weeks ago (finally catching up in date on these trip reports) Paula and I headed north to hike Hurricane Mountain. In true Jona fashion, I hadn’t done any research on this trip and was pleasantly surprised when we summited.
But let’s start at the beginning… We parked off of O’Toole Road instead of Route 9 – I think the path less traveled – because Paula knows the guy who maintains the trail and he had recommended it. It was already pretty warm when we set off, probably high 70s, with the expectation that it would reach 90. I brought almost three liters of water with me, something I rarely do, but we had our sight set on also hiking the Crows and I wanted to be prepared. The first mile in was a nice warm up with very little ups and so so many lady slippers! They always make me smile and remind me of my mom.
Once we reached the junction to follow the red trail, it was almost two miles of up, up, up. Nothing too technical, but your body definitely knew it was climbing on a hot day. Can’t complain though, there was a slight breeze and the bugs were pretty nonexistent. The summit though, once we broke tree line, was amazing and worth all the sweat! The views were almost 360, featuring the Lower Great Range.
And I climbed the fire tower! Wasn’t so bad because of the bald summit/lack of trees. We sat down and ate lunch (even though it was only 10ish) to power-up and soak in the mountain views; I could have stayed there all day. About half way down, we both verbalized how hot we were and how hard it would be to hike back to the car and then continue on to the Crows… so we decided to skip ’em! We did hike probably a half mile toward Weston Mountain past the Gulf Brook lean-to for some extra mileage, but quickly turned around once we started sweating a ton – ha!
I feel like I’ve said this for all of the fire tower hikes thus far but this is a wonderful hike for the whole family. The reward is high for little effort/mileage. We passed a father and daughter on the trail, it being her first camping trip. She was probably three or four and looked like the cutest little cabbage patch kid. I can’t wait to re-hike with Rocco and the beau. [9/23]