Fire Tower

Pillsbury Mountain

Pillsbury Mountain provides an excellent view of the southern Adirondacks. It's down range from Snowy near the Jessup River and is a 3597 Ft. fire tower mountain. Once again there is a high range of mountains lined up on the west and southwest side of Indian Lake. Pillsbury is on the southern tip of this range providing a better view of the south then Snowy does.

To get there you have to drive to 8 miles north of Speculator using route 30. There you will find Mason Lake. There is a seasonal road that starts on the lake side of the road. Its labeled on Google Maps as Jessup River Rd. Drive down this Road a few miles to an intersection called Perkins Clearing. Turn right and proceed down an increasingly difficult Rd. for about 2 miles. At about 2 miles, there should be a clearing called Sled Harbor and the road will take an abrupt left. Instead of going left drive up a road that heads straight. It will lead for a mile up along the Miami River to the trail head. This last stretch is difficult on a low profile vehicle. During the winter months these roads are all closed.

Before I climbed this mountain I climbed Snowy on the same day. On Snowy I met the Tramp and Trail Club. It was October 9th. What was amazing, I saw 70 year old women making it to the top of this mountain. One of the younger members tried to encourage another to make it past the last rock slab. She responded by saying I have climbed this mountain before you were born. Just something funny I thought I would insert into this story. I also met a 46er from Broadalbin. He was teaching me some of the high peaks and giving me some tips on survival. These people are heavily equipt for extreme hikes. I told him I was heading for Pillsbury next. He told me it would be steep in the middle. Boy was he right!

When I started the 1300 Ft. Pillsbury climb, the trail dipped down to the Miami River first. After crossing it, the trail started climbing. First it was gradual, but then it increased to a steep climb. It was killing me. I was so tired from snowy. I was so tired that the juncos (Sparrows) would land right in front of me and double scratch the ground. They weren't even afraid of me. After awhile I was climbing around rock ledges then the climb lessened briefly. A final ascent proceded the top. At the top I still had a short distance to walk through mud to reach the tower.

From the tower I could look back at Snowy. It was a huge hump on the ridge with Mount Marcy on the right in the background. I could also see Wakely Mountain and the Cedar River down below.
But the wonderful thing here is the view toward the west. Down below was the beginnings of our West Canada Creek. It was the West Canada Lakes. Mud Lake is the source with the Northville-Lake Placid trail running by it. From here it flows southwest into Herkimer County, passing Fort Noble a former fire tower mountain. After Fort Noble Mountain, it flows west through the town of Ohio, into Hinckley, falls over Trenton Falls, borders the Town of Russia and ultimately straight through the Kuyahoora valley into Herkimer. A bueatiful Creek with Bald Eagles making it into the news.

The final feature I would like to mention is the area around Piseco Lake. I could see the mountains bordering the west side of Piseco Lake. T Lake and T Lake Mountain, which had it's fire tower blasted, are down there. There is also a falls down there, but the DEC made it forbidden to reach. I'm by no means knowledgeable in geology, but it looked as though the mountains were being split by fault lines down there. Looking on a topo map of the well known cliff on Panther mountain, I see that that Echo cliff itself is it's own peak. Echo Cliff looks like it's split off from Panther Mountain. And if you draw a line northward from the col between Panther and Echo Cliff it passes right between Stacy and Piseco Mountains. Two Mountains that look like twins. These are just things I observed. From picture three I show this area. The mountains are arranged in parallel ridges and valleys. They appear like ripples in a pond on a 3D shaded relief map I bought from the Canada lakes Store.

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Mike- (Dolgeville) says ... on Sunday, Feb 13 at 8:15 PM

I really enjoy your trip reports/pics. Very nicely detailed! Keep them coming!:)

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