Pillsbury Mountain is one of those peaks that is in the middle of no-where, at least so it seems when you are driving there. Using a maze of back-roads will get you there, but you need to take it slow on them, they can be very rough at times. Pillsbury is one of the Adirondacks 100-highest peaks.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in Indian Lake follow Route 30 toward Speculator. Continue for just over 16-miles to Perkins Clearing Road on the right. Follow here to Perkins Clearing (T-Intersection). Take a right onto Military Road to Sled Harbor. There is an intersection here that heads straight to the Spruce Lake Trailhead (Jessup River Road), to get to Pillsbury take a right. This road which was once a mess and hard to drive has been rebuilt and in great condition.
From the trailhead you will descend slightly to cross the Miami River before starting your climb. On the opposite side you will start to climb immediately; steep out of the river bank and then moderate for a bit. Once the climb starts in it remains fairly steep for a while. Some areas have tough footing and muddy tread to contend with, but all-in-all not too bad. The trail will bring you to a ridge where views are starting to open up through the trees. The ridge will mellow out the climb and soon you will be right at the fire tower. Small views can be had from the rocky summit area over the trees. The best views are had from the fire tower's cab. The fire tower is open to the public. The observers cabin is near the tower.
Trailhead to the summit = 1.6 miles
Family with Young Kids
- 2 hours to summit
- 1.5 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker
- 2 hours to summit
The Jessup River Road is closed during the winter making this a very long snowshoe approach. While you could ski the road to the trail for quicker access, plan on a much longer day with a trail that might be unpacked.
The trail section is not recommended for cross-country skiing.