Explore ADK/Catskills Fire Tower Challenege - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

ADK/Catskills Fire Tower Challenege Map
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This is a great hike with a great view and fire tower at the top. Not too difficult for a Saranac 6 peak. Great trail and rewarding.

The fire tower is a great reward at the end of the trail, but at some places there are slippery and/or loose rocks that make the way back down challenging. No plateaus or view points anywhere except at the top. Only a few very steep moments. With many water breaks and a 15 minute rest at the fire tower we clocked in at around 5 hours out and back. Best part was that it is mostly shaded the whole time which made the length bearable. Watch your footing as we did see a baby copperhead on the trail (surely mom was close by).

first 2 miles are enjoyable with mostly hard packed dirt, roots, and occasional rocks. the last mile made me almost turn around...we had our boxer dog on leash and she needed to be lifted at times. toward the top it gets really hard to keep on trail. we missed trail to tower to find an even better lookout. on way down, we found tower. I would do this again, with more daylight to enjoy the amazing views. my app and watch said it was over 8 miles.

Great payoff at the top with a fire tower.

First 2/3 of hike is quite easy going. Last 1/3 was a steep incline to the fire tower. Very manageable for us. We had our 11 year old son and Boston terrier with us. Would definitely do it again! Beautiful view!

It was a challenge and there was a lot of lovely fauna to see including a fresh water spring. Nice views at the top and when you’re done you’ll feel like you had a good day in nature and have gotten some great exercise too.

Nice trail with a variety of scenery and picturesque waterfalls. The trail was very faint in places the first couple miles, but the blue markers helped. Some good views in spots at the summit, but it would be so much better if the fire tower were accessible. A gradual accent with no really steep sections. I really liked this hike to get away from the crowds.

Sunday aug 5 started at 830 to beat heat. 2 hours up about 40 minutes summit time and 1:20 back down. No bugs! Some water on trail but after all that rain it’s fine never had to walk through water. Creek beautiful being a bit higher

Had low expectations due to hunter and it’s skiing reputation but I was wrong. Less then a dozen people all day well all morning. Tim the Seward was friendly and informative. Very sturdy and beautiful tower. Awesome views 360 and guide in the tower that is circular shows the surrounding area and peaks. Reminder no ground views so climb is a must

Never would know a major nys ski area is so close. Trail is easy gravel and fast. Bring the permethrin for covering the clothes prior to hiking as a precaution. Great time of year to get out there and enjoy this season. The trip and the firetower made a great summer day.

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike! The last part is definitely a bit challenging, but fine if you take your time. We had the mountain to ourselves at 7:30 AM on a Friday — just passed a few groups on our way down. My 12 year-old son wanted me to warn you all about the cobwebs this early though!

hiking
12 days ago

Very wet trail and top of fire tower is locked

Awesome hike and beautiful views!

hiking
13 days ago

My Adirondack homebase trail. The old trail is a straight uphill slog that I used to resent being dragged on, the new trail is a delight that winds its way around the mountain very gradually using all the best principles of modern trail design. You'll pass through a bunch of different types of forest before the summit, which is the only part where you get a taste of the old trail, scrambling uphill through partially exposed rock face. Fortunately that part is relatively short, is beautiful with the trees, moss, and views, and is rewarded in short order by the great 360º views at the top. Lyon Mountain is just shy of being a 46er and is the only peak of this height in this corner of the park, so the views from the top are a very different experience than those closer to Keene Valley.

pretty easy hike if you're used to the high peaks but a great hike none the less! I took the switchback trail from the parking lot and would rate it as moderate, honestly anybody who is mildly fit can summit this hike and have a good time. It really only gets steep for a bit after the slide close to the top, nothing crazy though. Nice views and very little bugs.(July) If you're into trail running you'll love this route as well.

tougher then we thought. rain made the hike more technical. very nice view from the fire tower.

hiking
19 days ago

The first three miles were easy, nothing strenuous. The final push to the summit is steep and very tough! It is nearly a mile of serious climbing. It was a challenge for me, but my son basically jogged up to the summit, arriving 30 minutes before me. The view from the cliff face is spectacular. Push on to the tower about 50yards further, and take in the 360 views. The tower needs a little work, as some fencing was missing from this higher levels, but it’s strong otherwise. We did the climb after 5 days of rain, a little slick and muddy, but not terrible. The descent was difficult in the steepest section, after that it’s an enjoyable walk back to the vehicle. My app said it was 8.1 miles round trip.

greatlittle hike not too strenuous it was long but easy

The first 1.5 miles are an easy walk through a nice mixed timber forest. There are a few blow downs to hop over or walk around, but nothing troubling. As the elevation slowly increases the trail enters a seasonal stream bed with loose rocks, small and large, but there is a path on the side of most of this portion that is easier. As the trail levels off it would seem that you have reached the top, but this is what is called the “false summit.” Shortly you will begin to descend, which is a psychological bummer, before you start to gain elevation to the actual summit. Just past the remains of the observers cabin the trail gets steeper. It’s a short steep section up to the summit and tower. The tower views are beautiful. Some of the steps on the tower are a bit sketchy, but intact. Overall a great hike, with a couple of challenging sections. Highly recommend. With a generous time at the summit, which I had to myself, I spent a total of 02:53:00 on this trail.

hiking
23 days ago

1st mountain I’ve hiked! Great experience. Definitely got harder the last mile. Moderate traffic but not too bad. The view was amazing from the fire tower!

Spectacular views but can get pretty muddy towards the top!

Went up the Devils trail path and intersected with Spruceton trail. Enjoyed everything but the bugs, wear bug spray .

hiking
24 days ago

Solid moderate hike on one of the first days that wasn't horribly hot in nearly a month. First 2 miles is relatively flat, last 1.1 miles from the sign is steep with a large amount of exposed rock. Two of the steepest sections have railings and one has a ladder. Bugs were horrible below the sign. Roughly 1.5 hours up, 1.25 down.

Fire tower foundation has been replaced, but it does not appear that any restoration was done above ground level. You need to climb a 7 foot ladder with no fall protection to reach the cab from the top landing.

There's a decent amount of parking in a lot off of the road at the trailhead. There was VERY heavy trail traffic even on a Thursday, likely because the trail was recently reopened.

Very well kept trail! For the first couple miles it is fairly flat with smaller gains in elevation. Once you cross the foot bridge the grade increases and continues until you get to the top. When the trail becomes more stone you are close to the summit. There is a foot path that goes right just before the fire tower. This provides some views but nothing like what you will see if you stay to the left. Total hike time was 3 hours with 30 minutes at the top.

Took us 2 and a half hours to get to the top, and 2 hours and 20 to get down with a few minute breaks. Beautiful views, worth the trip, definitely a hard trail for beginners.

took me an hour and 57 minutes to summit, the last 1/2 mile is steep and challenging if the trail is muddy, but well worth the trip up.

The views at the top from the fire tower were phenomenal!! This trail is rated as hard but don't let that totally scare you off. My husband and I are in good shape and we hiked up in 1 hour 35 minutes and back down in 1 hour 20 minutes on the switch back trail. It definitely gets steep towards the top and has some nice tripping hazards(rocks) along the way as you get higher up the mountain. Beautiful hike and a lot of fun! We hiked it on 18 July 18, and there were no bugs and it was a nice cool summer day. I highly recommend this hike!

How neat is the view from here? I had half of my father's ashes strewn on the summit.

Hiked this 7/16/18 with beautiful blue skies and very hot weather. Took about an hour and a half to reach the top, very slow incline until you reach the sign for the summit stating there is 1.0 mile to the summit then it is steep!! Very enjoyable hike!

Lyon Mountain is the Northern Most Firetower mountain in the Adirondack Park. We snowshoed to this summit and fire tower as part of the Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge. It was a wonderful snowshoe. The view from the top is amazing. You can see all the way to the Champlain Valley and Vermont!

hiking
30 days ago

As advertised. The initial trail is well maintained with an interesting array of “bridges” over wet areas although today it was pretty dry. The final climb is over a washed out creek/trail leaving loose stones and rocks, making the hike a challenge. The view from the “summit” and fire tower is well worth it and the reason for the climb.

Tough, rewarding hike. About 1.75 hours to the top, another 1.5 on the way down - slippery after a light rain. Fire tower is sturdy, though some of the guarding is missing. Cloudy, but nice views today around noon.

Don’t recommend pets or small kids.

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