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Belfry Mountain Winter Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge Hike: Blog & VIDEO!

Belfry Mountain Winter Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge Hike: Blog & VIDEO!

A summit with outstanding Adirondack mountain views…in less than an HOUR? You read that right! Buckle the kids in the car and head on up to Belfry Mountain and fire tower, located in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest area of Adirondack Park in New York.

The best part?!?! This mountain boasts a fire tower on the summit which offers 360 degree views of the surrounding Adirondack Mountains, AND it counts toward your Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge pursuits, if you are interested in such things. There are links at the end of this post to learn all about it if this is new to you.

Anyhow – first, a few hike details, stats, and photos, then on to the VIDEO!

Belfry Mountain & Fire Tower, Hammond Pond Wild Forest, Adirondack Park, NY – About the Hike: 

Chris, about halfway up the 47-foot Belfry Mountain fire tower. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Chris, about halfway up the 47-foot Belfry Mountain fire tower. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Incredible views of the Adirondack Mountains from Belfry's Tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Incredible views of the Adirondack Mountains from Belfry’s Tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!

You may also enjoy our other Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge blog posts, and our Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge VIDEO PLAYLIST! I have included both links at the end of this post if you want to read on and check them out later.

Trail Head Parking for Belfry Mountain and Fire Tower:

Here are the GPS coordinates for the parking area. Parking is just a small pull-off on the shoulder, so do be careful and considerate of other people who may be coming along. We parked across the road from the trail head and gate. If you park on the side with the trail head, avoid blocking the gate as the truck road is actively used.

PARKING GPS COORDINATES: 44.102, -73.546

Small parking area at Belfry Mountain Fire Tower, we parked across the road from the trail head. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Small parking area at Belfry Mountain Fire Tower, we parked across the road from the trail head. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!44.102, -73.546

Belfry Mountain Fire Tower Hike-Trail and Conditions:

The trail to the Belfry Mountain Fire Tower is easy to follow – mostly a truck road still in use. When you come to junctions, these lead to the communications buildings and towers. Just stay to the left all the way up.

The trail head sign. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
The trail head sign. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
The Belfry Mountain trail is actually a truck road, as you come to splits, stay to the left. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
The Belfry Mountain trail is actually a truck road, as you come to splits, stay to the left. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
The Belfry Mountain trail is actually a truck road, it was plowed and easy to follow! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
The Belfry Mountain trail is actually a truck road, it was plowed and easy to follow! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!

Belfry Mountain Fire Tower Hike-Trail Difficulty:

A very easy trail, less than a mile (0.8, round trip!) with only about 120 feet of elevation gain, according to the DEC trail sign.

Belfry Mountain Fire Tower Hike-SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS:

The trail is very easy to follow, an actively used truck road which was plowed. We did use MicroSpikes because it was icy.

Getting SPIKED. Microspikes are a necessity in the Adirondacks from early fall into late Spring.
Getting SPIKED. MicroSpikes are a necessity in the Adirondacks from early fall into late Spring.

Summits can be very windy, and Belfry Mountain was no exception. Be sure to pack warm clothing for the summit and the tower climb. Dora was very happy we packed our balaclavas. Wind chills can be extreme, even on a small mountain, in the winter.

Dora was happy we packed the balaclavas for this winter hike! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Dora was happy we packed the balaclavas for this winter hike! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!

Belfry Mountain Fire Tower Hike-WILDLIFE SAFETY

Black bears are always a possibility in the Adirondacks, of course less so in the middle of Winter but it can happen! Be aware and know what to do should you encounter a bear or any other wildlife.

We saw lots of evidence of wildlife, SNOWSHOE HARE tracks everywhere! Take time to let the kids quietly peer into the woods if you see tracks, they are often sitting very still right nearby! Their coats are white in the Winter, so they can be tough to spot! Always be respectful of wildlife and do not attempt to chase, flush, or otherwise harass an animal.

Dora checking out the MANY Snowshoe Hare tracks along the trail to Belfry Fire Tower. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Dora checking out the MANY Snowshoe Hare tracks along the trail to Belfry Fire Tower. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!

STEWARDSHIP IS EVERYBODY’S JOB.

Access to Belfry Mountain Fire Tower is very easy, and the trade for easy access is, as always, a heavily impacted summit. “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

Please ALWAYS follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace, whenever you go outdoors, and wherever you go. We pack a trash bag and pick up what we find, within reason of course, whenever we go out.

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Respect Wildlife
Be Considerate of Other Visitors

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles have been reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org

 A few photos, then on to the VIDEO!

First glimpse of the tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
First glimpse of the tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Almost at the tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Almost at the tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Lovely views even if you don't climb the fire tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Lovely views even if you don’t climb the fire tower! 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Survey marker at the summit, one of two we found. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!
Survey marker at the summit, one of two we found. 2/15/2016: Belfry Mountain Winter Fire Tower Challenge Hike!

Here’s the VIDEO of the hike to Belfry Mountain Fire Tower!

About the ADK Fire Tower Challenge:

In all, there are 29 climbs on the official list: five in the Catskill Mountains, and twenty-four in the Adirondacks (you only need to complete eighteen of the twenty-four Adirondack towers to earn your patch for completing the challenge). Here is the official Fire Tower Challenge list, and more information about the ADK Fire Tower Challenge, if you are interested. There is also a Fire Tower Challenge group on Facebook, a great place to get the latest trail and access conditions from those who have recently done your planned hike. And – to share your photos and stories of your hikes, which is the best part!

See our other Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge blog posts!

We also have a playlist for our Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge VIDEOS!

WHERE TO FIND US:

Twitter: @IMFOutdoors

Facebook: It’s More Fun Outdoors

Instagram: @itsmorefunoutdoors

Pinterest: It’s More Fun Outdoors!

Or leave us a comment below!

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Thanks for reading! Make it an EPIC day! 🙂

~Amy, Chris, and Dora

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