Fire Towers

The Catskills fire towers offer unparalleled 360-degree views of the surrounding Catskill Park and mountains.

The Catskill Center, through the Catskill Fire Tower Project manages the five fire towers within the Catskill Park for public access and interpretation. Each tower is supported by a a group of volunteers who work with the Catskill Center and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that the towers and ranger cabins are properly maintained and that they are open to the public on weekends during the spring, summer and fall.

Historically more than a hundred fire towers, some built nearly a century ago, were used for early detection of forest fires throughout New York State because of their extensive views of the surrounding countryside and forests. Today, just five towers remain in the Catskill Park and they are maintained by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

During the late spring, summer and early fall months, Fire Tower Project volunteers open up the tower cabins for visitors to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the region. The five towers make for some of the best hiking destinations in the Catskills, offering unparalleled 360-degree views of the surrounding Catskill Park and mountains. They are well worth the time and effort it takes to hike to each tower. 

Free Fire Tower Maps and Guides: Click on the fire tower names below for detailed trail map and hiking guide, courtesy of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. The full Catskill Trails Map Set is available at the Catskills Visitor Center’s gift shop and through our online shop.

Fire Tower Patches and Merchandise:  Exclusive Catskill Fire Tower Project Merchandise, including patches, t-shirts, and baseball caps as well as related books and maps is available at the Catskills Visitor Center gift shop and from other select local retailers.

Location

Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Observation Station, Livingston Manor, NY, USA

BALSAM LAKE MOUNTAIN – TOWN OF HARDENBURGH – ELEVATION 3723′ History: The first fire tower on the top of a mountain in New York State was placed at the summit of Balsam Lake Mountain in 1887. The existing 47-foot tower was erected in 1919, closed in 1988 and reopened by the Catskill Fire Tower Project and […]
Read More

Location

The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower, Hunter, NY, USA

HUNTER MOUNTAIN – TOWN OF HUNTER – ELEVATION 4,040′ History: The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower has the unique distinction of being located at the highest elevation of any fire tower in New York State – on the summit of Hunter Mountain at 4040 feet. The original tower was constructed from logs and the current, 60-foot steel tower […]
Read More

Location

Red Hill Fire Tower DEC Parking, Claryville, NY 12725

RED HILL – TOWN OF DENNING – ELEVATION 2,990′ History: This 60-foot fire tower was constructed in 1921 and is listed on the National Historic Lookout Registeer and has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. The Red Hill Tower offers an unsurpassed view of the Catskill High Peaks to the west and north, along […]
Read More

Location

Overlook Mountain Trail – Fire Tower Spir, Woodstock, NY, USA

OVERLOOK MOUNTAIN – TOWN OF WOODSTOCK – ELEVATION 3,140′ History: The Overlook Mountain Fire Tower is the newest of the five remaining fire towers in the Catskill Park, having been built in its present location in 1950. The tower closed in 1988 and was reopened in 1999, making it the first tower to re-open to the public […]
Read More

Location

Tremper Mountain, Shandaken, NY, USA

TREMPER MOUNTAIN – TOWN OF SHANDAKEN – ELEVATION 2,740′ History: The Mount Tremper Fire Tower is believed to be the original structure that was built in 1917 and used for fire observation until 1971. It was reopened to the public in 2001. The 47-foot tower offers a spectacular 360-degree view that includes the Burroughs Range, Stony […]
Read More

Need More Information? The Catskill Center manages the Catskill Fire Tower Project and can be reached at 845-586-2611 or cccd@catskillcenter.org. You can also stop in at the Catskills Visitor Center and our staff and volunteers will be happy to help you plan your Fire Tower hike!

Let us know you visited a Fire Tower! Be sure to tag your photos with #CatskillFireTower and #CatskillCenter and follow the Catskill Fire Tower Project on Facebook and the Catskill Center on Twitter (@CatskillCenter) to get the latest news, information and events from the five fire towers of the Catskill Park and on all the work that the Catskill Center does on behalf of the Catskills! 

Support the Catskill Fire Tower Project and the Catskill Center! Generous support from donors and members like you make our work on the Catskill Fire Tower Project possible. Please become a member today so we can continue this work!