Goodnow is a very prominent peak when seen from Route 28N. This ragged-looking mountain is home to one of the remaining fire towers in the Adirondacks.
From the restored fire tower (originally built in 1922), excellent views of the High Peaks can be had. A map, used by former fire tower observers to locate forest fires, will give you a better understanding of your surroundings while in the tower. And it’s a cool piece of history!
The trail to Goodnow is on private land owned by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). ESF staff and students continue to maintain the tower and trail. Please be respectful of their work and the environment.
How to get there
Take exit 29 from Interstate 87 and head west on Blue Ridge Road, toward Newcomb. After about 18.5 miles, turn right on Route 28N and follow that for about 9 miles as it goes through Newcomb. The large parking area is on the left, about 1.5 miles after the Adirondack Interpretive Center.
By the numbers
- Distance: 1.9 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,040 feet
- Mountain elevation: 2,664 feet
As you move along, the trail climbs steady to moderate for about 1 mile. A small brook is passed at 0.5 miles from the trailhead. At 0.9 miles, the trail swings very sharply to the left, where it descends momentarily before resuming the climb. At 1.4 miles a concrete platform is reached. These are the remnants of a State Police radio repeating station.
Soon after, you’ll reach an old horse barn that dates to the early 1900s. The trail becomes rockier and steeper, and you’ll notice the trees changing from hardwood to spruce and balsam. Just before the summit, at 1.8 miles, there is a small open rock that provides a view. The summit and fire tower is reached at 1.9 miles.
The fire tower is 60-feet tall, making it one of the tallest in the Adirondacks. There are some views on ground level but the best are seen from the tower. You can even look straight down onto the roof of the old fire tower observer’s cabin, which sits just below the fire tower.
Goodnow Mountain in winter
This trail is not recommended for cross-country skiing but does make for an enjoyable snowshoe.
At the fire tower, be extra careful in the winter, as the tower stairs can be very slippery and dangerous. Expect high winds and a serious wind chill from the tower.
This trail is heavily used and typically gets broken out relatively fast after a snow storm.