Owls Head Mountain Fire Tower

I arrived at the trailhead around 8:50 am. There was a local hunter that had just arrived, and he was packing up to spend 14 days in camp (lucky guy). We started a conversation that led to the three dogs I had in tow. He had asked if they were Australian Cattle Dogs, and I affirmed and advised him they were rescues. He, too, has some dogs he rescued as well, a couple of border collies. Border Collies are all business.

I was soon up the trail, climbing right after the small footbridge. The trail is easy enough to follow and is a mix of open hardwoods almost the entire way to the summit, minus a few areas of pine/cedar/tamaracks. The trail is an easy grade well past the intersection with the trail that continues to Lake Eaton, about a mile in. From here, the trail goes left and climbs moderately with a mix of packed trails to rocky and wet (typical adk trail). There were several areas of blowdown from the previous two days of heavy wind, all of which were easily negotiated.

The trail climbed steadily, making up in elevation, but wasn’t overly long, maybe about a mile of climbing up to the col between the two smaller peaks of Owl's Head. From here, one could be discouraged, thinking that you are almost to the tower when in fact, you drop down to a landing that, at one point, was where the observer’s cabin was located. The foundation pilings are still there, and a pail (I almost thought it was a thunder jug). From here, the final push to the summit is a short steep section that eventually eases and turns into a small ridge walk to the tower.

From the summit, I could see Long Lake below to the left and Blue Mountain in the background straight ahead. Once up in the tower, there is a 360-degree view of the mountains; a bit overcast today, so the views weren’t as good as they would be on a clear day. Blue Mountain was shrouded in the clouds.

I didn't realize until I read the pamphlet from the trailhead register that the mountain, along with the two lesser peaks, makes up the ears of the "owl's head," a great horned owl's head, to be exact.

I was back at the trailhead at 1 pm.

Elevation - 2815'

Distance round trip -6.3 miles

Total time round trip 4. hrs 14min

My average speed was 1.5mph.