It is the closest alpine mountain to Launceston and the plateau extends to 3 kilometres (2 mi) and reaches a maximum altitude of 1,413 metres (4,636 ft) above sea level, making it the second highest peak in eastern Tasmania. The road to the summit is periodically closed in winter due to snow, with the snow line located at around 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) metres.
A state reserve on Mount Barrow occupies 459 hectares (1,134 acres) and is an important habitat for several threatened species. These include the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, the spotted-tail quoll and Eastern quoll and the Mount Arthur Burrowing Crayfish. Marsupials regularly sighted on the mountain include wombats, pademelons, Bennett's wallabies and Forester kangaroos.
Numerous mountain streams are found across the escarpment and these can turn into substantial waterfalls after heavy snowfall.
Mount Barrow is the main television and FM radio transmission site for north east Tasmania. The broadcasting and telecommunication structures are subject to ice build up and have shields incorporated into their designs to prevent damage from falling ice. Due to the rugged terrain the programme reaches the sites via microwave links instead of the usual fiber optic cables. Electrical power reaches the facilities by an overhead line running up the eastern side of the mountain.
The reserve also features a pleasant picnic ground with a nature trail beginning and ending there.
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