Albert Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

Fire tower lookout from Albert Mountain

Albert Mountain is located near the town of Franklin, North Carolina and overlooks the Coweeta Basin. From the vista of Albert Mountain you can see for 20 miles in every direction, making it an ideal spot for a fire tower or scenic view of Fall’s changing colors.

This 5,250 foot high mountain sits on the path of the Appalachian Trail, and was also the setting for a 40 foot high metal fire tower lookout that was built in the 1951. This replaced an earlier log cabin structure that had existed for decades prior. This tower is recognized as a National Historic Lookout, and for much of its useful life found a ranger living in it’s 14’x14′ confines.

The Coweeta Basin is one of the oldest environmental studies in North America. The USDA established the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in 1934 around the time of the formation of the Nantahala and Pisgah National forests.

We approached Albert Mountain northbound from Betty Creek Gap earlier in the day on the Appalachian Trail. The 900 foot climb was punctuated in the last 400 feet of climb by an aggressive technical section. The north side down the mountain was the easiest section of the hike, where we found ourselves almost jogging down a root and rock free gentle slope.

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