Elmore State Park, Elmore

Elmore State Park, Elmore 
Round trip: 2.4 miles (fire tower only), 3.4 miles (fire tower and Balanced Rock).
Highest Elevation: 2,608 feet
Elevation gain: 1,450 feet
Directions: Take Route 12 to Elmore State Park. From the tollbooth, continue straight ahead to the trailhead parking lot. Take the Fire Tower Trail, not the Nature Trail. Click to map.

Mount Elmore is a favorite among local hikers because of the view from its fire tower. With the Lake Elmore beach at the base, it is a perfect destination on a summer day.

From the parking area, the trail heads uphill on a fire road. At 0.5 mile, at the end of the fire road, it takes a sharp right onto the Mount Elmore Trail (blue blazes). At 1.0 mile, the trail reaches a lookout on the left, the site of the old fire watcher’s cabin. The view to the east over Lake Elmore stretches as far as Mount Washington. If hiking with young children or old dogs, this is good place to have a picnic and turn around.

From here the trail becomes rougher and steeper until you reach a “T.” Turn left to reach the fire tower, which affords phenomenal views.

For an interesting side trip, return to the “T” and head in the other direction toward Balanced Rock, a boulder about 20 feet long and 6 feet high, perched at an angle on a rock outcropping. It's worth the extra half mile to see this giant rock appear to defy gravity.
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