This is a wonderful open peak with a fire tower that is being restored and can now be climbed, even though the tower is not needed for some of the best views in the High Peaks. There are three separate approaches to this peak. Hurricane Mountain is 3,678 feet.
From Route 9N
- Distance: 3.4 miles, one way
- Ascent: 2,000 feet
From the intersection of Routes 9 and 9N in Elizabethtown (near the Cobble Hill Golf Course), follow 9N north toward Keene. The trailhead is 6.6 miles on the right. There is a small parking lot on the left.
During the summer and fall of 2014 this trail was almost completely relocated to avoid all of the steepest and most eroded sections. The hike to the summit is now 3.4 miles — 0.8 mile longer than before — but overall it's a much more enjoyable hike.
The trail climbs via new switchbacks to a first view at 0.4 miles, levels out, crosses a series of bridges across beaver swamps, and then resumes climbing, soon diverging left from the old trail. At 2.8 miles the trail comes to a ledge with a view ahead of the tower on the summit. The tower looks further away than it actually is, and after a second ledge at 2.9 miles the grade eases to a junction with the trail from Crow Clearing, coming in from the left at 3.2 miles. On the descent make sure everyone in the group makes the left turn at this junction. Past this junction, the trail is levels briefly before beginning the final rocky scramble to the summit at 3.4 miles.
From Hurricane Lane (East Trail)
- Distance: 2.7 miles, one way
- Ascent: 1,700 feet
From the intersection of Routes 9 and 9N in Elizabethtown (near the Cobble Hill Golf Course), follow 9N north toward Keene. Just after the Blueberry Trail System, turn right onto Hurricane Mountain Lake (2.0 miles from the intersection). Follow this to the end (2.7 miles), a gate blocks vehicular traffic. Park here in the small lot on the right. Parking is not permitted on the road.
From the gate, hike up the road to the site of the former observer's cabin at 1.2 miles. After this spot, the trail drops a bit to a stream and then climbs to another stream at 1.4 miles. From the second stream to the summit, the climb is steep, with only a few breathers.
This is the least used trail of the three.
From Crow Clearing (North Trail)
- Distance: 3.0 miles, one way
- Ascent: 1,600 feet
From the intersection of Routes 9 and 9N in Elizabethtown (near the Cobble Hill Golf Course), follow 9N north toward Keene for 8.1 miles. Turn right onto Hurricane Road, just beyond the Baxter Mountain trailhead. Stay on Hurricane Road for 4.0 miles, then turn right onto O'toole Lane. Follow this for 1.2 miles to the end at Crow Clearing. (In winter, the end of plowing is 0.3 mile before Crow Clearing, and this final stretch is usually closed during muddy spring season as well).
This route has the most moderate grades throughout. It gets moderate traffic.
Leaving the right side of the clearing, the trail remains relatively mellow for 1.1 miles. A few small streams are crossed before this point. At the junction, hang a sharp right. (The Gulf Brook Lean-to is on the left, just off in the woods.) This is a great place to take a break! From here, the trail climbs moderately and there are several more stream crossings. After the final crossing, the trail veers left and begins a steeper climb through an attractive birch forest. The junction with the trail from Route 9N is reached at 2.8 miles. Past this junction, the trail is levels briefly before beginning the final rocky scramble to the summit at 3.0 miles.
The trails up Hurricane make for great, if difficult, snowshoeing. Due to steepness, some sections may require additional traction devices. None of the three trails are suitable for cross-country skiing. Please take note that the trails from the east and north have considerable less traffic, especially in winter. Parking may not be as accessible and trails may not be broken out.