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Old 03-15-2004, 06:36 PM   #1
redhawk
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Hamilton Mountain Fire Tower

Not too long ago, someone asked me if there was still a fire tower on top of Hamilton Mountain here in Wells.

Well, some of the locals "think" it might have been taken down but are not sure.

I do know that you cannot hike the trail up there through Sucker Brook. The trail is on private property and the caretaker will run you off.

I have found a feasable route going in from Jimmy Creek via West River Road. It might be a good bushwhack for the weekend of the outing.

I figured I would do this as a new thread to get the attention of whoever asked me.
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Old 03-16-2004, 10:49 AM   #2
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It was me Redhawk...

... and it was in the spring outing thread. I saw the tower a few years ago from the road but have not seen it in a long time. It probably is gone.

Too bad.

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Old 05-19-2004, 03:14 PM   #3
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Hamilton Mountain

Hey guys, just to let you know, the hamilton mountain fire tower was closed, dismantled, and flown of hamilton mountain in either 1977 or 78. my contractor, who lives in wells, climbed over mt orrey, down to jimmy creek, and up to hamilton mountain in a 3 day camping trip last year. He said there are still great views to the south and that you can see great sacandaga lake from the top. Redhawk, your right about not being able to climb up the sucker brook trail. The guy who owns the property has been known to pull out a shotgun on people who try to cross his land. It kills me to know that a mountain with views of lake pleasant, sacandaga lake and speculator to the north and great sacandaga lake to the south is officialy not possible. For more information read marty positich's book adirondacks southern fire towers. Theres a great piece on hamilton mountain in there.
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Old 05-19-2004, 07:46 PM   #4
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I did confirm about a week ago that the fire tower was gone.

The best route up there is to go past jimmy Creek, down to Dugway Creek and follow that up and over.

Most of the land on the Gilman side of hamilton Mountain is owned by IP and they cut off access to Hamilton Lake and Hamilton Mountain. there are a lot of nice places up in there. I'm thinking maybe getting in there uop to Chartruese Lake and hamilton lake sometime this year.
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:23 PM   #5
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If anyone is interested there is a very good book about the Adirondack fire towers called: Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Southern Districts, by Martin Podskoch. The book is more of a collection of stories and personal accounts of the observers and their families. There is supposed to be another book about the northern districts that will be coming out in the near future.

Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Southern Districts
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
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9 Years have passed on this thread:

There is no view from the summit any more. Its all brushed in. If you wander off a bit to the south there is a large ledge with an excellent southerly view.

Old trail is visible at the top, but it is being gradually reclaimed by the forest.

Route up Dugway brook is excellent. Also climbed over Swart Mtn. Very good woods in that area.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:52 AM   #7
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Now it is 13 years since this thread.
Does anyone know if the situation has changed there with regards to accessing this peak?
I wonder if you can drive/access past the golf course and around the east side of Hamilton Lake? I figured if I could get down the east side of Hamilton Lake then whacking to the summit up the sucker brook might be a good approach.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:24 PM   #8
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The hardest part of climbing Hamilton Mountain (in Lake Pleasant just south of Speculator) ended up being figuring out how to approach the climb.
I had heard that going up the old Firetower trail was definitely off limits, same with approaching it from Hamilton Lake.
I drove to Hamilton Lake, just to make sure there wasn't some way of whacking around the golf course, in order to ascend Hamilton from the West side.
It turned out that getting into a Federal Supermax prison would be easier than approaching Hamilton from the West side where Hamilton Lake is. The area where the old trail had been is heavily, heavily posted, - surveillance and everything. So that was a no go. Then the golf course around Hamilton Lake is private, gated, and way, way off limits.
So defeated by private property around the West side of Hamilton near the lake, I drove over to the Eastern side, where I approached from Gilmantown Road just South of Lake Charley.
Once I finally found a route and was able to get started, the whack was super easy. Open, forgiving woods, and very few conifers the entire trip.
I absolutely loved Hamilton. This mountain is a gem and it's too bad that a route can't be re-established and the overgrown summit re-cut.
I made it to the top and found many relics from the old Firetower which was removed in 1976. The top is all completely grown up now, and there are no views, and in a few years, the conifers will really take over the cap of this peak making the last part of the whack much more difficult. But for now, it was an easy whack and really cool to see the old relics up there. I liked the whole vibe of the mountain and the summit.

I took some photos and found a few historical photos as well, this is a great mountain!


Summit of Hamilton - footing where the Firetower used to be.


Old stone staircase which probably went to the cabin that was up there.


This is what the former trail near the summit looks like now. (I think this was it?!)


This old teapot was one of a number of relics around the summit


Hamilton USGS marker


1960s Royal Palm soda bottle


Former summit view all grown up now


Near the summit. Nice woods, but in a few years these currently short conifers will grow and make the whack near the top much more difficult.


Original wooden Hamilton Firetower 1913


Removing the Hamilton Firetower by Helicopter 1976
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:41 PM   #9
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Did you jump off near Elbow Brook, Mt Overrocker, or someplace different? And what slope did you choose to climb.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:45 PM   #10
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Great report & photos, Spencer!
I love it...when in doubt, just go find out & see for yourself!
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:27 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=SpencerVT;260911] This mountain is a gem and it's too bad that a route can't be re-established and the overgrown summit re-cut.

You don't like the view, so you want to create one? Real nice.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
dundee
You don't like the view, so you want to create one? Real nice.
This mountain appears to have had a cut view for around 100 years, and only relatively recently is overgrown, so I was just talking about trimming/cutting it back to more what it had been for nearly a century, that's all. I like the summit and the view either way!

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Did you jump off near Elbow Brook, Mt Overrocker, or someplace different? And what slope did you choose to climb.
I jumped off near Elbow Brook and went around the lower cusp of Round Mountain into the beaver pond / notch area and then ascended the eastern slope. This is a great mountain!
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Old 08-01-2017, 01:21 PM   #13
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This mountain appears to have had a cut view for around 100 years, and only relatively recently is overgrown, so I was just talking about trimming/cutting it back to more what it had been for nearly a century, that's all. I like the summit and the view either way!
How about we leave it alone? You're not the only person who wants to cut views on summits. You may "only" want to take a few trees, but everyone else "only" want to take a few.
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Old 08-01-2017, 01:27 PM   #14
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How about we leave it alone? You're not the only person who wants to cut views on summits. You may "only" want to take a few trees, but everyone else "only" want to take a few.
I certainly can't and am not going to do anything about Hamilton Mountain.
It was just my personal opinion that if hypothetically the DEC wanted to restore the openness of the summit to similar to what it had been for nearly a century, I wouldn't mind that. It was more facetious, a hypothetical than anything else, and not going to happen. The summit is also great and fine the way it is now.
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:16 PM   #15
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Good, glad to hear it. I see many summits that have been "improved" by tree cutting when the hiker only had to go a few feet further to get a view. Some of this is done by DEC or DEC sanctioned groups. Glad you like it the way it is.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:29 AM   #16
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Good, glad to hear it. I see many summits that have been "improved" by tree cutting when the hiker only had to go a few feet further to get a view. Some of this is done by DEC or DEC sanctioned groups. Glad you like it the way it is.
Definitely. I think it's ridiculous if people won't bother to take the time to get to an overlook, etc...there have been plenty of mountains with wooded summits (Like Bullhead) where if you just go a few feet over, you can get a great view.

And for the record, if a mountain has been untouched by summit cutting, then I would under ordinary circumstances totally oppose cutting to create a view. Hamilton is different because it has a long history pre-existing use and summit alteration: a cut view, a cabin, and a firetower at the summit, so under those specific circumstances, (hypothetically - it's not going to happen) I wouldn't be opposed to restoring it to what it had been for nearly a century. However, as I said, I'm also totally fine the way it is now. It's a really enjoyable and interesting peak.
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