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Owl’s Head, Goodnow & Stillwater 4/24/21

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  • Owl’s Head, Goodnow & Stillwater 4/24/21

    This is the Owl’s Head Mountain near Long Lake, not the “lookout” near Keene. FF&B met me at my house at about 4am and we started off, with fresh hot sausage egg and cheese bagel sandwiches in hand. We arrived at the Trailhead for OH and saw three younger ladies already there, preparing to ascend. We gave them a couple minutes of a head start and began to hike. It was a beautiful clear morning, with a start time temp. in the upper 30’s. Tee shirt and shorts weather! This was my favorite trail of the day. The terrain and foliage was varied, with very scenic spots all along the way. The foundation piers of the old watchman’s cabin were interesting, situated in a small saddle of hardwoods. There was a little bit of snow on the trail as we approached the top, but nothing bare boots/shoes couldn’t handle. The summit was green from exposure to the sun, with a nice view of Blue Mountain. Down past the fire tower there was a nice large rock ledge that I found very comfortable to lounge on. Not a cloud in the sky for our time on the summit. We visited with the three aforementioned hikers and enjoyed petting their Husky named Balto.
    Before driving to Goodnow, we stopped at Stewart’s for a snack; their pizza really isn’t bad as long as it’s not hours old. Goodnow is on SUNY ESF land, and was much more busier. Nice views of Vanderwacker Mountain and the High Peaks; Algonquin, Colden and Marcy were easiest to identify. We enjoyed a sandwich and a beer at the summit before hiking back down. (Trial by Wombat if anyone is curious)
    Our original plan was only these two fire tower mountains, but there was plenty of sunlight left, and our energy levels were good. We decided to hit Stillwater Mountain for a third tower, then return home via Lowville.
    Stillwater is a very soft trail, a moderate and consistent climb of nearly a mile. We hit the summit, checked out the tower, and were back to the car in less than an hour.
    Another post hike meal at Tony Harper’s, but the Lowville location this time. More wings and bison burger was demolished.
    Nice triple tower day, aka, the great Adirondack turkey safari. Along our driving routes we must have observed about 150 turkeys throughout the day. I’m sure things will change come May.
    I’ll let FF&B add on to this trip report. Cheers!

  • #2
    Very nice. Sounds like you guys had a great day. I think you two are really on these outings more for the beer and food than the hiking. That's two trip reports in a row mentioning Tony Harper's.

    Owls Head fire tower is rather underrated in my opinion. It's kinda out of the way and you don't hear too many people discuss it but it's a fun little hike and like you said very interesting terrain and scenery. I love the site of the old observer's cabin as well. Hope you got a look in the observer's cabin at Goodnow. That has some interesting historical displays on the exterior and some old-timey gear inside that you can see through the windows.

    If you are interested there are more Owls Heads. There's the fire tower, the one on Rte 73, the lookout near Green/ Giant, the one between Schroon Lake and Paradox Lake (on private land), the Owls Head Range (one of the mountains in the range also named Owls Head) located in the hamlet of Owls Head 10 miles southeast of Malone, and Owls Head Pinnacle in the same hamlet which is perhaps on private land but people still hike it. There may be more. Assuming I could get permission to hike on the private land I was contemplating attempting all 6 in one day as a gimmick hiking challenge. We'll see if I ever manage that.
    Last edited by Makwa; 04-25-2021, 12:54 PM.


    • Learning The Trails
      Learning The Trails commented
      Editing a comment
      I admit, I was reading it as páté.

      So, nine.
      If someone was going to make it a formal challenge, I think keeping a 24 hour limit on it would be way to go.

      For a gimmick? HYOH.

    • Makwa
      Makwa commented
      Editing a comment
      Could have the regular challenge with no time limit and the "Ultra" variant for those who finish in 24 hours. The long bushwhack in the McKenzie Wilderness could be the real troubling one though. Not sure what it's like through there but that would discourage most people from even attempting the challenge. Nor would I encourage folks to pursue a stupid patch if they might get lost (or worse) in the process. Maybe you could make it a choose your own adventure challenge where you have to do 5 or 6 of the 9. And have a rocker for the bushwhack. And then there's still the question of all the private property. There's at least 4 of these on private property with just one being legal to hike.

      How about all the hikes having to be done between sunset and sunrise? Call it the Night Owl Challenge.

      OK... enough of this nonsense. This all sounded like a hoot until you put a pencil to paper to dope it out.

    • Learning The Trails
      Learning The Trails commented
      Editing a comment
      We posted our previous posts at the same time.
      Didn't realize so many were private. Yeah, that sounds like a headache to dope out. Good theory for a challenge. Not so much in practice.

  • #3
    The fuel is very important for fat-guy-hiking.


    • #4
      Helluva good day and I couldn’t have described it better myself.

      We thought it would only be fair to conduct a true comparison of the two Tony Harpers. IMO the bison burger at the Old Forge location was much than than Lowville’s version, but both were good.

      NBFS isn’t exaggerating with his turkey estimate. We easily saw 150.

      Our last hike vs. this hike was a good case study in why fueling up, and fueling up early is important. Our last go ‘round has us both lacking a little in the energy department. This time around we both kept the food intake steady throughout the day and neither of us really experienced any noteworthy “bonks.” The first half mile or so up Goodnow was a little rough on me, having just woofed down an extra large Jack Links spicy meat-like stick immediately before hitting the trail... lesson learned.
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


      • #5
        Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
        The first half mile or so up Goodnow was a little rough on me, having just woofed down an extra large Jack Links spicy meat-like stick immediately before hitting the trail... lesson learned.
        “Meat-like” lmao. Next time stick with the home made venison jerky!


        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't know how anybody can eat meat in the middle of doing anything physical. I tried jerky once about 10 years ago on the way to Marshall and it was a giant mistake. I've never eaten any meat of any kind on any hike since. When I see people cutting up their summer sausage on a summit or chowing down a Slim Jim it almost makes me ill. People seem to love it though. I just can't imagine burping that up all day long on a hike. I'll stick to the beer, burgers, pizza, and other pub fare well AFTER my hike has finished.

          The other one that makes me retch is the idea of milk as a recovery drink. I cannot fathom downing a large dose of dairy after exerting myself.

        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          The venison jerky is much better. I believe you tried to warn me about it as I was inhaling the Jack's Link.

          Makwa eating meat along the way doesn't really bother me but dairy definitely would. I mentioned along this hike that I wish I could process dairy "the right way" because a Steward's milkshake sounded great. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately I'll never know how it does as a recovery drink.