QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 16,934 acres
- Trail Mileage: 2.6 miles to 3,186-foot summit
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: moderate
- Sights: views, fire tower, 4th-largest contiguous spruce fir/northern hardwood forest
Though it has a an austere, colorless name, this 3,186-foot mountain in the Leuthold Forest Preserve offers lovely views for not too much effort. The 2.6-mile trail covers its roughly 1,250 feet in elevation gain at a relatively gentle pitch. The path is forested until it emerges close to the ledgy summit, which has an intact fire tower that The Nature Conservancy warns people not to climb.
The hardest part of this mountain is driving the 17 miles or so to the trailhead on back roads. If you have the vehicle to do this, you’ll eventually see a small Nature Conservancy trail sign at mile 16.6. Most cars should park here and walk the .5 miles up the rough jeep track. At the open grassy area, you’ll find a large and informative trail kiosk that has a trail map and information about the many thousands of protected acres in this area.
From this point, the trail ascends for about .4 miles up an overgrown logging track. This section of the trail is not marked but is easy to follow. At .4 mile, you’ll see Nature Conservancy signs and the blazed trail to your right. Follow this another 1.6 miles (it is well marked), to the lovely summit.
Directions: From Route 201, turn onto Spencer Road (aka Hardscrabble Road) and continue 16.6 miles to the trailhead, marked with a Nature Conservancy sign. I find downloading maps to my phone before I leave to be helpful navigating in rural areas where I don’t have a cell signal.