This one is off the beaten path, but pretty easy to get to. The Tower Road is the only dirt road I navigated, and was in really good shape and is said to be plowed in the winter.
Hadley mountain is a 2.6 mile round trip hike that starts to climb almost immediately after signing in at the trail-head. It is a gradual climb the entire way, with a few pleasant ridge walks along the way. The summit of Hadley is 2653 feet (according to topo), of which you will actually climb 1500 feet, give or take.
The description of the hike talks about a history of forest fires in the early part of the twentieth century which has impacted the mountain. While I never seen anything that resembles damage by fires, it is certainly present as it also described that the bare rock, or open ledge is a result of the fires and how it has also thinned the soil. There was a lot of bare open rock, which actually made for easy climbing.
The trail is wide and you can tell this is a very popular hike. I suspect the parking lot overflows on weekends. I arrived this morning at 10am and found two other vehicles there, although I would never see anyone else on the mountain today. After signing in at the register I quickly begin to start the climb. Its a nice hike which takes you up to a ridge of the West mountain range which you follow over to the true summit. I love ridge walks, they usually provide some nice views, and the trail is usually gradual, which this one was right up to the summit.
Just before the final push to the tower, on the right is a trail that leads to the old fire observer's cabin that is used by summit stewards. I also noticed a real cool cave just before the cabin on the left. Not exactly sure what it was used for, but appeared to have had a door on it at one time. Maybe a root cellar for storing food?
The fire tower is usually open, but was closed today. I was able to climb up to the scuttle hole and received some great views.
I started out from the car at 10:15am and arrived at the summit for 12 noon. Enjoyed the entire hike, had it all to myself. Left the summit at 1230 and arrived back at the car for 130pm. I took my sweet time going up, took many pictures.
Didn't see a single person until I got back to the trail-head where I ran into two guys heading up.