The Pillsbury Mountain fire tower has an interesting history – first made of wood in 1918, it was rebuilt out of steel not much later in 1924. Pillsbury may seem like it’s in the middle of nowhere after following long back roads to get there, but the reward will be peaceful trails, expansive views, and just the right amount of tranquility!
Pillsbury Mountain is a fairly short trail, only 1.6 miles to the top, but is moderately steep, ascending 1,300 feet in that distance. The trail begins with a slight descent to a river crossing before the climb begins on the other side of the river. The trail then climbs steadily upwards, bringing you to a ridge where you will start to be able to see the view between the trees. As the ridge becomes less steep the trail widens at the opening where the fire tower stands. There are some views from the summit, but the best views are from the fire tower itself – while you may not be able to go into the viewing deck of the tower, the views from the stairs are worth taking them up as high as you can make it!
Coming from the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in Indian Lake, you will take Route 30 southward toward Speculator. Follow 30/Jessup Rd until the intersection with Military Road – take a right on Military Road and then take a left at the Sled Harbor clearing and follow the road until the trailhead. If the road looks too muddy or difficult for your car, you can park at the clearing and walk a mile to the trailhead.
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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.