PORTER CORNERS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Spruce Mountain is a 2.6 mile out and back trail located near Corinth in Saratoga County. From the parking lot, it’s a 1.3 mile hike to the fire tower.
There are two trails that lead to the fire tower: a foot trail and a snowmobile trail. Snowmobile tracks can be seen surrounding the fire tower. The elevation gain is about 1,020 feet.
The trail register is located a small ways from the trailhead. Hikers are expected to sign in with their contact information. This helps forest rangers find hikers in case of an emergency and also provides the DEC with visitor information.
“Bicycles prohibited on this trail per NYDEC,” the trail register box reads.
As of Saturday, January 29, the snow on the trail was packed down for easy hiking. Yellow trail markers also make the trail easy to follow.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the first 0.8 miles of the trail is on a forest preserve. The trail then crosses the lands of Saratoga P.L.A.N. and Lyme Timberlands and then back to a small piece of forest preserve where the fire tower sits.
The public has access to the tower most of the year, excluding big game hunting season which opens around the third week in October and runs through early December. Hiking is not recommended during hunting season for safety reasons.
The summit of Spruce Mountain is forested, which requires a climb up the tower for a view. The tower is about 73 feet high and was built in 1928. It was manned until 1988.
When hiking in the winter, make sure to be prepared. According to the DEC, make sure to dress in layers. You can wear thermal undergarments, a fleece or wool insulating layer, waterproof outer layers, thick socks, a winter hat, gloves or mittens and waterproof, insulated boots. Snowshoes and crampons are also helpful and provide traction on snow and ice.
These photos were taken on Saturday, where the temperature was about 16 degrees. However, at the top of the mountain, it’s much colder due to the wind.
Check out the photos below: