Explore Firetowers - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Firetower Challenge: Out of the 28 peaks listed with firetowers, at least 23 need to be completed. 18 of the Adirondack peaks and 5 located in Catskill. These must be documented by date. Can also complete challenge in winter. Patch is obtained through submitting the documented list, with notes, to ADK Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter. Website for more information is www.adk.org, look for fire tower challenge. Peaks, Adirondack: Adams Mount Arab Azure Bald (Rondaxe) Belfry Black Blue Cathedral Rock Goodnow Gore Hadley Hurricane Loon Lake Lyon Owl's Head Pillsbury Poke-O-Moonshine Snowy Spruce St. Regis Stillwater Vanderwhacker Wakely Woodhull Peaks, Catskills: Balsam Lake Hunter Overlook Red Hill Tremper

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snowshoeing
3 days ago

awesome winter hike!

So far this is my favorite fire tower hike!

Great trail. The road to trail head is ploughed but rough. Trail itself is packed and easy to follow. The fire tower is in great condition.

The hike was nice and easygoing as we just needed microspikes for this hike. There was a little ice in places but very doable. You could see the snowmobilers riding across the lake.

Beautiful monastery at the base of the trail you can tour and cool abandoned hotel towards the top of the trail with beautiful views at the fire tower! Steep wide trail.

Best hike in a while. Not too challenging but the views are well worth the trip.

great views and intresting history.

If you are climbing this in the winter you will not be able to park at the trailhead. Plan on parking .5 miles before the trailhead at the snowplow turnaround. Microspikes were helpful in some sections of the trail, and useless in others. Overall a good hike. Beware of ice on the tower if you decide to climb it. The summit is very well maintained!!

My wife and I Hiked on this trail on 1/3/19, it was her first winter mountain climb. It had all the makings of a great adventure! I loved the water crossings, lots of blowdown and it definitely felt like a slog near the top, although we only made it to 3444’ and decided to turn around after the post-holing became too much and we started to lose day light.
If you plan to hike this in winter make sure you have at minimum micro spike and trekking poles to deal with all the ice/ water crossings
I’m originally from about an hr from this trailhead and I will absolutely be back to bag this one!!!

Am awesome hike today .

hiking
18 days ago

Easy Hike. Did this hike about 13 years ago in the summer time. We were in the area for a blue grass festival. The views were amazing, and the weather was awesome. We even saw a baby cub about 50 yards away on the trail.

Hiked 8/19/18. Enjoyable hike with a few neat things to see along the way...an old state police radio repeating station...the foundation and steps still obvious, an old 1900's horse barn with some beautiful pale/pink birch trees nearby, and an old creepy (filled) stone well. My favorite spot was a small slab stone clearing to the right of the trail, nearing the summit, where, in warmer weather, its buzzing with beautiful dragonfies. You can sit on the stone and they just zig and zag over your heads! Ive never seen so mamy in one place.

Hiked in 8/18/18. Id consider this hike pretty difficult. It kicked my 13 year old sons butt! Saw some neat mushrooms along the way but nothing overly spectacular, in comparison to some of the other memorable firetower trails. Great workout, but your eyes are on the ground the majority of the way because of the extremely rocky terrain. We had to stop mutiple times along the way because this hike works your legs!

Hiked 8/19/18. Blue is my favorite firetower hike so far! It was crazy steep and very rocky the majority of the way. Once you near the top, the entire environment is well worth it! I loved how green, and mossy and fresh it became , after a good deal of hiking over steep sheets of flat stone. The variety of mushrooms was phenominal and beautiful. The views, in places along the way were amazing! At times, when we thought we had finally made it, the trail would bend and just kept going. Other hikers along the way shared the same sentiments. Still A hike I wouldnt mind doing again.

On 8/18 We hiked up the North trail which was rather muddy and returned via the East Trail. Lots of cool boulders and rock formations along the way. Little dissapointed in the condition of the cabin and the amount of trash we found right at the tower steps. Minimal views, other than from the tower. Otherwise, nice wide open spaces to rest and eat. The East trail was a quick return to the parking area.

hiking
19 days ago

What an awesome hike, not too easy, not too hard. We wore crampons due to slightly icy conditions, but probably could have done without. Views from the tower were awesome. Did not realize it was an interpretive hike so we were curious about the signs. Now we know. Might do again next fall to take in the foliage.

hiking
20 days ago

We hiked to the Tremper fire tower but from the Willow trailhead. There isn't an Altrails map for that route but I have suggested one. There is now good parking off the road at Willow (near the end of Jessup Road). There is no trail register yet. Great hike, steep in places but wonderful views most of the way. Our recorded mileage was 7.4 miles.

We hiked to Balsam Lake Fire Tower for the ADK/Catskills fire tower challenge. This is the only map available for the northern approach. It was a great trail. Lots of parking and clearly marked trail. I have suggested a trail edit by having just the trail to Balsam Lake for those only wanting to hike to the fire tower.

Be prepared for icy trials. Overall great winter hike.

1/1/2019 Awesome Trail one of the most extreme hikes I've ever been on, halfway up there is thick ice and lots of snow barely made it up but we did,not for the faint of heart. my friend had sneakers on too lol, it was snowing and the sky look ed crazy so once we reached the tower it looked like a base on antarctica,. definetely would recommend any time of year. on the way down we just slid on our butts and it was so fun got most of the way down in a few minutes but almost died a few times, good times, good times

Consistent incline. Good wide dirt trail. Hotel ruins are cool to see. Fire tower at top offers nice view as does another spot 50 yards away. Rattlesnake signs posted near top of trail. Ranger was knowledgeable and helpful.

Great hike, the ruins are wonderful. No views due to the weather.

Although the car park is of good size get there EARLY because its a popular trail. It was almost full when we got there about 9.30am.

The trail is a well defined single-track road which can only be considered "moderate" because of the sustained incline. I can see how some consider it boring. My only thought on the way up was how beautiful it must be in the spring when the abundant rhododendrons are in bloom.

Currently there is a deceptive light covering of snow on the trail. What it hides is the numerous thick sheets of ice which only become more frequent the higher you get. WEAR YOUR SPIKES, your body will thank you for it. I had many conversations with people who were asking me about my micro-spikes; hopefully taking the time to direct them to REI / EMS will inspire a couple of them.

The hotel ruins looked fantastic in the low cloud cover. Hauntingly so.

The firetower looked great against the pure white surrounding cloud cover. It was very blustery as weather started to move in but we found shelter behind the ranger hut to make lunch and coffee. Only saw two other people at the summit even though we saw many more on the trail.

CAUTION: BE AWARE, coming down the trail in winter was the slipperiest trails I’ve ever done. Fell down a total of 20 times. WEAR ICE SPIKES, or shoes with very good traction. Overall the view was amazing and the ruins were incredible, with an interesting story behind it. Would recommend for summertime!

The trail was gorgeous!, definitely a good workout and micro spikes a must. Stunning views from the fire tower

Great trail! Steepest trail I’ve hiked in the Catskills. View at fire tower is beautiful. Current trail conditions (12/30/2018) INCREDIBLY icy on the steepest parts of the trail. Microspikes and poles are a must! If not you will break yourself coming down this mountain. The best views in the Catskills on a hike I’ve seen as well. So much fun just be safe and smart with your gear. Mileage is actually 5.0 miles if take blue trail markers to yellow trail markers.

Nice easy to moderately easy hike with a nice tower at the top. We took the south trail up and north trail down and it was icy and snow covered on 12/30. Micro spikes needed for trip down, lots of running water on lower section of north trail as well. We were up and down in less than 2 hours, with a good 20 minutes at the top for photos.

Great hike that was super challenging for me. It’s a steady climb to the top, with lots of mud and some icy patches. Snow flurries accompanied me the entire way. Definitely would have benefited me to have some trekking poles on the way down. The view is amazing. I felt like I was kissing the clouds. The hotel ruins are both creepy and intriguing! Definitely an awesome hike.

Great views of Marcy and surrounding High Peaks. Firetower is open and safe to climb. The trail is moderate until the final half mile, where there are steep sections. Lots of ice, running water and hard packed snow, spikes are highly recommended! Ranked 10th highest Firetower in NY at 3,520’. Enjoy.

Easy hike for very nice views. Rain makes it a little more annoying though! Never rush your descent in the rain. Some nice bald face rock towards the top, fun to walk along the ridge. Great for new hikers!

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