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While Loon Lake Mountain is included in the fire tower challenge, the fire tower is currently closed and awaiting renovations. That said, there is still a considerable view from the summit that faces both south and east, and what can be seen from the peak’s rock face is beautiful and serene. Like most of the other fire tower peaks, it provides a view predominantly of nearby lakes, with Loon Lake being the closest, and the High Peaks off in the distance to the east.
Distance: 5.9 miles round-trip
Elevation: 3,328 ft
Ascent: 1,686 ft
The trail begins on a wide, unused forest road and follows this road gradually through a deciduous forest for a couple of miles. With about one mile left in the hike, the trail becomes steeper and narrower, and here you will enter a conifer-laden forest. Continue upwards through this wooded forest for the final and steepest section of the hike to the top.
The trail as it stands was only opened to the public in 2013, and as a result is quite new and enjoyable to hike. This goes for hiking it in the winter too, and the nearby town plows the parking lot at the base of the mountain, providing snowshoers with an easy place to park at the trailhead.
Driving from Saranac Lake through Bloomingdale on route 3, turn left on route 26 and head towards Loon Lake. When you reach the town of Loon Lake, follow route 26 for 4.8 miles, at which point you will see the trailhead and parking lot marked by a sign on your left.
Remember to Leave No Trace! Buy a physical map, read it, plan, and prepare. Think about the NYS Rangers and medical personnel that exhaust themselves for a rescue that could have been avoided. Pack out your trash. Use a bear canister when primitive camping and cook away from where you’re sleeping. Do the rock walk to help reduce the impact on fragile alpine vegetation. Camp at designated campsites and never camp on or near summits.