Rock Rift Fire Tower Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hancock, New York that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

3.7 miles
1,213 feet
Out & Back


nature trips

trail running





over grown

1 month ago

This is a very pleasant and rewarding hike. This Finger Lakes Conference Trail climbs Tower Mountain mostly following the road and telephone lines built by the Civilian Conservation Corp. for access to the Rock Rift Fire Tower. Look for a few leaning poles from the old phone lines. The tower, constructed in 1934 stands at the end of this trail. The Town of Tompkins is working on plans to restore the fire tower. At the present time the tower is not safe to climb and the first set of stairs has been removed as a safety measure. Hint, look for the concrete base from the first flight of steps (removed) for the markings by the CCC Co. 211 that built the tower.

3 months ago

Great hike and trail. Started out first thing going up the mtn. Even though this hike is considered a moderate trail it certainly requires rigor and stamina. Great day with the family! Well worth your while even though there are no views. Tower should definitely be restored and opened like the numerous ADK towers have been.

4 months ago

The trail was hard to follow at times and was almost a bushwack. There are no views at the top or at any point leading to the top. the fire tower seems permanently closed. There was a mailbox close to the start of the trail but I am uncertain if that was the trail register for the tower or through trail.

6 months ago

I would rate this a five for length and difficulty, but the views are not that great. Is it really “moderate” or am I that out of shape?

It is a great hike, challenging, and some sections feel like mountaineering if only because of the grade, and it is a scenic walk in the woods. Obvious signs of wildlife- bear marks on trees, coyote droppings (?), deer, rabbits, birds, and the frogs at the pond st the top are fun to watch and noisy (during mating season). The fire tower is cool, but the views at the top are obstructed.

9 days ago

4 months ago

5 months ago