In 1933, a fire tower on Buck Mountain was established on private lands between Long Lake and Tupper Lake. Today, thanks to a generous easement and hard work by a lot of people, the tower on Buck Mountain is open to the public via a 1.2 mile trail to the summit.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 28N in Long Lake, follow Route 30 north toward Tupper Lake for 7 miles. Turn left onto Sabattis Circle Road (sometimes referred to just as Circle Road on maps) and continue for a little over 2 miles to a large parking lot on the right. There is room for many vehicles.
By the numbers
- Trail distance: 1.2 miles one way; 2.4 miles out and back
- Elevation gain: 500 feet
- Summit elevation: 2400 feet
The trail begins in the back corner of the parking lot. Since it is a brand new trail, it is soft underfoot. In the first half of the trail, several bridges and wooden boards will help you traverse wet and muddy areas. Closer to the summit, the terrain starts to get steeper. A series of wooden steps and stairs, and rock staircases, assist with these sections. Buck Mountain's summit is completely wooded, so there are no views from the top, unless you climb the 60-foot tall fire tower. From the tower cab, views of the William C. Whitney Wilderness stretch out before you, as well as views of many other fire tower summits in Hamilton County.
Buck Mountain in winter
Due to the steeper terrain near the summit, traction is highly recommended when the trail is icy or snowy. This would be an excellent beginner snowshoe hike, but is not suited for cross-country skiing given the series of ladders and stairs near the summit.
This historic fire tower and hiking trail is located on private land owned by Cedar Heights Timber, LLC. The public is invited to enjoy the hiking trail and fire tower, but please observe the following rules.
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Please stay on marked trail
- If you carry it in, carry it out. Please do not litter
- No campfires
- No overnight camping
- Leash all dogs
- No public hunting, trapping, or fishing
- No motorized vehicles
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of others