A wonderful short to middle distance hike, Hadley Mountain is a perfect climb for any season in the Southern Adirondacks. Given its southerly location, Hadley has a unique and rare view of Sacandaga Lake – visible from both the fire tower and the summit itself.
The trail up Hadley Mountain begins climbing from the trailhead immediately and continues to climb moderately up for the first mile of the ascent. The trail criss-crosses a streambed (dry in the summer) throughout the beginning of the hike, and remains somewhat rocky for much of the way. There is also much hiking on exposed rock, which is in part due to forest fires that occurred on the mountain in the early 20th century. After the first mile, the trail enters a brief gradual section before getting steep again. As the trail continues to the summit, it crosses mostly on open rock to the summit, allowing for great panoramas for the last half-mile before you reach the summit. At the top, the view is great from the summit and even better from the fire tower.
Coming from interstate 87, take exit 23 towards Warrensburg. Follow route 9 for half a mile before turning left onto 418/River St. After a few miles, River St comes to a T, follow it left as it continues as 418/ Stony Creek Rd. Continue on Stony Creek Rd (which turns into Warrensburg Rd after about a mile) for a few more miles, then take a sharp left onto Grist Mill Road, follow Grist Mill for .2 miles until you reach a T, take a left onto Hadley Rd and follow it for .7 miles before turning Riley Hill Rd. Follow Riley Hill Rd for two and a half miles until you reach Tower Rd on your right, turn right onto Tower Rd and the trailhead will be 1.7 miles ahead on your right.
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Alyssa Devlin is a freelance writer who grew up hiking and skiing the ‘dacks and is now based in Washington, DC. She spends her days fighting the heat with daydreams of swimming in cool Adirondack lakes. You can find her at alyssadevlin.com.