Goodnow Mountain
in Northern Adirondacks


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Public Lands Policy

Adirondack Mountains

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Northern Adirondack Wild Forests

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A couple of weeks ago I hiked up Goodnow Mountain, on a beautiful clear afternoon, that by the time I reached the mountain it started to cloud up and the humidity started to increase. I had previously in the morning attempted to hike up Giant Mountain in the High Peaks, and wanted to do something easier for the afternoon.

Goodnow Mountain is located at the SUNY ESF (Environmental Science-Forestry) College, just south of the Adirondack High Peaks on NY 28, just to the west of Newcomb. It’s a bit of a drive from the Adirondack Northway from the east or even a little ways from Long Lake to the west, but well worth it for the views.

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Trailhead Sign at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

About a quarter mile up the trail you pass an interesting tree grown over a rock. This is not as uncommon as you might think in the Adirondacks where the soils are poor and the ground is rocky, and trees seek to put down more roots to pick up nuetrants.

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Tree Grown Over Rock — I have to say I've never seen a tree grow over a rock quite like this. I kind have this vision of the tree going up along the side, then growing out roots to the side, in an attempt to get more nutrients and water in this rocky soil. Regardless, it's impressive.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

At about 1/2 mile you reach the old woods road that at one time, decades ago, provide vehicular access to the tower for forest rangers. Part of the trail is flat, but then it keeps steeper and erosion is noticable on the old road bed, no longer passable by anything then ATV in an emergency.

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Trail Follows Old Woods Road — The trail up Goodnow Mountain follows an Old Wood Road part of the way, except for the last 1/2 mile which splits off on a separate trail to a parking area away from the main SUNY ESF Campus.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

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Rougher Part of the Trail — The whole trail up Goodnow was not as smooth as the previous frame, but still pretty walkable, and not super steep.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

Further up the mountain, the trail follows a series of boardwalks that keeps most of the trail out of the mud and the muck.

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Boardwalk — This is another of the many board walks on the SUNY ESF property. At one point or another they have done extensive work on the trail to keep it up to a very high standard.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

Then you reach an old abandoned barn, a well, and some interesting old debris like what appears to be a tank from a hot water heater storage unit.

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Old Barn on Goodnow — Next to the old well.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

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Old Well — This old well was located next to the barn on Goodnow Mountain.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

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Old Water Tank — This was quite a ways from the old barn up farther on the hill, but may have been discarded off a ledge, or maybe there was another house around.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

You ascend a ledge, with some limited views to the south.

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South East from Ledge — Almost to the top of the mountain!
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

Then their is a thick planation of White Pines along the trail as you make one relatively short ascent to the firetower.

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Thick White Pines — Almost to the top of Goodnow, there is a thick white pine forest. They appear to be about 60-80 years old, although they almost do not appear to be a man-made plantation, although they probably are a reforestation plantation.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

Eventually at the last possible moment, you break through the White Pines to see the Goodnow Firetower, and almost instantly want to start climbing it for the views, unless your suffering from heat exhaustion, then you might want to look for the relatively limited shaded but open sections on the mountain.

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Goodnow Firetower at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

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Open Window — Vanderwhacker Mountain is the prominent peak in this picture.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

SUNY ESF has restored to the Ranger’s cabin, and the porch is a farely popular place to sit, enjoy the view, beat the heat for a few moments.

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SUNY ESF Ranger's Station — He or she was not present when I climbed the mountain.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

There are many interesting views from the firetower. Here are the High Peaks looking North, the Vanderwhacker Wild Forest to the east, Kempshall Mountain / Long Lake to the west, and Blue Mountain / Blue Ridge to the South.

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High Peaks and Newcomb at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

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Vanderwhacker Wild Forest — It's pretty vast and impressive, looking east.
at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

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Toward Kempshall Mountain at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

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South from Tower at Goodnow Mountain on July 11, 2010

Here is a map of the hike.


View Goodnow Mountain in a larger map

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