Owl Head Lookout is a true hidden gem, and should not be overlooked! In any season, but especially in fall, the views of the sweeping forest will absolutely take your breath away.
From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 9N, south of Keene, follow Route 9N toward Elizabethtown. Continue for 5.75 miles to the trailhead for the Giant Mountain Wilderness on the right. Park in the parking lot and begin by following the dirt road.
By the numbers
- Elevation: 2,530 feet
- Elevation gain: 1,257 feet
- Distance: 2.6 miles to the lookout
From the parking area you will begin following a dirt driveway for a short distance before dropping into the woods. From here you will have the pleasure of hiking though a very attractive mixed forest. The climb is easy for the first mile to a crossing of Slide Brook, after which it is steady but never steep. The trail rounds out atop a ridge at 2.5 miles, where there's a short, steep, 0.1 mile spur trail to the lookout. The lookout has wide open views in almost all directions. For the adventurous hiker, continue hiking to the summit of Giant Mountain, one of the Adirondack High Peaks.
Owl Head Lookout is an excellent snowshoe excursion, and it's perfect for intermediate beginners looking to spend a little more time in the woods. Snowshoes will suffice on the generally well-packed trail. Expect a significant drop in temperature as elevation is gained, and be prepared for wind on the open ledge. Always bring extra layers, especially for higher elevations, and don't hesitate to turn around if the weather starts to turn.