Category Archives: Fire Towers

Observers cabin on Red Hill in the Catskills

Red Hill Fire Tower, one of five restored towers in the Catskills, gives the hiker a relatively short 1.4-mile walk and a stiff climb of 860′ to some of the region’s most unique views. The trail climbs to the summit in a crescent shape through a wonderful forest. The summit meadow almost seems park-like with several picnic tables and a nice grass large area. With a pipe fed spring along the way, it could be…

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Trail sign in the Hunter Mountain area

As we have all been asked to be socially responsible and practice social distancing during the COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) outbreak, it is hard to do in urban areas. It seems that this will go on for some time and mandates will change as the situation changes. People have been heading for parks and playgrounds with their kids to ease the tension of being indoors. Who can blame them? We in the hiking community know all…

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Becker Hollow Trail-head

There are many ways up the Catskill’s second-highest summit. Ranging from moderate to difficult makes reaching the fire tower views doable for most people. With a horse trail and handicap ramp for mounting and dismounting, it gives the trip another dimension. Even though this writer has read criticism in forums about the safety for horses on the steeper sections of the trail, it does offer an opportunity that no other high peak in New York…

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Chris on False Summit on Hunter Mountain West Ridge

Hunter Mountain is the Catskill’s second highest peak and one of five with a restored fire tower on the summit. Hunter’s summit has been heavily logged in the past and has experienced many burns. Forest historian, Michael Kudish, has referred to Hunter as the “burn capital” of the Catskills. The logging on Hunter was so extensive that unlike other high peaks in these mountains there is very little growth forest left. Hunter is a busy…

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Balsam Lake Fire Tower

Balsam Lake Mountain stands as the guardian of western high peaks of the Catskills. From the restored fire tower on its summit, you can see the jumble of the Catskills highest peaks to the north, east, and southeast. To the west are the lower mountains of the western Catskills. This is one of the several fire towers that have been erected on the peak. The first two were crude wooden structures put up by the…

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Please note changes in access and rules for hiking and camping in the Adirondacks and Catskills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please act responsibly during this stressful period. Please read the DEC info carefully. Read more here!

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