Look who got a selfie stick for Valentine’s and just in time for a hike up Goodnow Mountain. The must-have photographic accessory helped capture these fun shots atop the 60′ former USFS fire tower erected in 1922 and operational until 1979. Over my shoulder is Rich Lake and to the right of that are the Santanoni mountains.

Balmy temps and a bluebird day beckoned us to Goodnow Mountain in the hamlet of Newcomb. The trailhead was easy to find on Route 28N. The sign and a plowed lot are only 1.5 miles west of the Adirondack Interpretive Center, part of the campus run by the top-ranked SUNY-ESF or School of Environmental Science and Forestry.

The fire tower was actually restored in 1995 by the SUNY-ESF students. The school collects air temperature measurement data on the 15,000-acre Wildlife Forest using repeater antennas mounted to the tower.  (Last fall, I did a video on the SUNY-ESF Gateway Center in Syracuse – in a word – wow!)

Geo and I are working on bagging all 30 peaks crowned with vintage fire towers in the Adirondacks. We finished the five in the Catskills years ago.  The test is called the Fire Tower Challenge and like most feats finishers earn a badge and bragging rights.

Goodnow is a 2,690’ peak and numerous websites tag the distance at 1.9 miles one-way.  Wrong!  My new Garmin clocked the distance at 2.8 miles.  Two other hikers, each wearing their own GPS watches, said that their calculations were 2.3 and 2.9 miles. Who’s GPS is accurate? It’s hard to know but everyone concluded that the hike was more than the advertised 2 miles at the registry.

We got a late start because of a coffee break at the ADK Welcome Center on 1-87 and then a friend’s house in Brant Lake.  But, that worked to our advantage having extra time in the tower cabin to enjoy lunch and take in limitless perspectives. 

If you plan to go, don’t linger away from the packed powder pathway or you’ll need snowshoes, otherwise, microspikes work like a charm!

George is in no condition to limbo under this fallen tree. 

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