The hike only takes about 3 hours but it can be extended to 3.5 hours by taking a break at the fire tower. Of course yuou have to climb the fire tower.
From the MOC, the trail heads off through rattlesnake swamp. Parts of this trail could get a little wet in the spring or fall but during the winter it was fine. We came to the intersection of the swamp trail and the Catfish Fire road.
From there it was a short but steep climb up to the fire tower.
The visibility was spectacular, not a cloud in the sky, the day was pretty cold and the wind was gusting enough to make sitting at the top of the tower a little scary. We made hot chocolate and boiled some noodles for lunch.
Heading south on the AT from the Fire Tower, the trail meanders through some woods and then comes out on a ridge with spectacular views that include the ski trails at Vernon Valley.