This Site Under Reconstruction

Mt. Adams Fire Tower A NYS Archives Photo

Location: 4 mile northeast of the Hamlet of Tahawus.
Status: Partially restored and open to the public.

The first structure up on Adams was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1917, the Conservation Commission replaced it with a 47' steel Aermotor LS40 tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, the tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. The tower and cabin still remain on lands previously owned by the National Lead Co.

In 2003, the Outdoor Space Institute (OSI) purchased about 10,000 acres of land from NL Industries. The area involved is commonly referred to as the Tahawus Tract. Within this acreage are the Mt. Adams Fire Tower, observer's cabin and related out buildings. As it was planned, a large portion of this property would be transferred to the State of New York and subsequently become part of the High Peaks Wilderness Area, requiring that the tower and related structures be removed.

Considerable pressure was brought, and the involved parties, OSI and the DEC, arrived at an arrangement where the surrounding lands would be transferred to the State with the exception of the tower and cabin sites. These would be retained by OSI so that historic preservation and restoration work could be commenced.

Since that time, restoration work has begun on the tower by the DEC through AmeriCorp volunteers of the Student Conservation Association. At this time, a "friends" group is being organized to continue the work.

In early April 2006 the Adirondack Park Agency gave final approval to the plan for the Tahawus Tract. In view of this latest development, Mt. Adams should have a bright future.

The cabin on Adams, built in 1922, is the oldest surviving in the state and one of the first of a standard design established by the Conservation Commission that same year. The Friends of Mt Adams began restoration work on the cabin in Sept. of 2007.

Mt Adams now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register. Mt Adams is also one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."


Alander Mt. Fire Tower

1929-Alander Mt Fire Towerand Observer Mervin Whitbeck. Photo courtesy of Betsy Garrett

Location: In the State of Massachusetts about one quarter of a mile east of the New York border.
Status: The tower has been removed but the 1922 style observer's cabin still remains.

In 1926, the Conservation Commission received a request for information regarding its standard fire observation stations from the Taconic Sate Park Commission. The Park Commission felt that a station on Alander Mt. would be of material assistance to the fire protective organization, not only within the Park's jurisdiction but also on large areas outside the Park.

At the top of Alander Mt., at an elevation of 2240', Conservation Department forest rangers supervised the erection a 60' Aermotor LS40 Aermotor tower. Such cooperation was the norm for the times as State Parks was another Division within the Conservation Department, being placed there in early 1927. Three miles of telephone line were constructed to connect the tower with the New York Telephone system.

The tower was intended primarily for spotting fires on the Park. However, arrangements were made with the Park Commission so that fires on State land or private land outside the Park would be reported to the local fire wardens.

In August 1930, the Commission received a notice from Mr. William A. Miles, of Salisbury, Conn. terminating the lease to the part of his property currently being used as the site for the fire tower. In response to Mr. Miles notice, the Park had the tower dismantled by the end of the year.

The parts were placed in storage at High Valley Farm, the home of Commissioner Francis R. Masters, pending the possible relocation of the tower by the Conservation Department. It was not until 1932 that the Conservation Department agreed to accept the transfer of the tower from the Park Commission. The tower was then erected on private lands on Washburn Mt. in late 1932 and became operational in 1933.

The tower remained on Washburn Mountain until 1964 when it was moved to Beebe Hill, where it remains today.

Alma Hill Fire Tower

Location: 3 miles northeast of the Village of Alma.
Status: Still remains on private lands and is closed to the public.

The structure on Alma is an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower that was erected by the Conservation Department in 1950. In addition to the tower, a 1941 model observer's cabin was constructed at the same time.

This tower is one of the few remaining New York State towers to bear a manufacturers tag located on one of the legs. It reads "Aermotor Co. - Chicago Ill."

This, like many Southern Tier towers wasn't intended to be an extension of the close knit system of towers in the Adirondacks and Catskills but rather, most of these towers were located amidst large holdings on State Forest lands in order to protect those lands from fire. Additionally, the CCC's built many miles of truck trails and fire breaks and hundreds of water holes for better access, to prevent fire spread and to aid in extinguishment when fires occurred. Many of these towers were only staffed on an as-needed basis by other Division of Lands and Forests personnel.

With the advent of aerial detection, the tower was officially closed at the end of the 1971 season and later offered for sale at public auction in 1973.

The high bidder was the landowner on whose land the tower stood. The tower still remains and is in "great shape" as reported by Paul Laskey, author of "The Fire Observation Towers of New York State", during a visit in 2002.

Ampersand Mt. Fire Tower

Ampersand Mt Cabins -1918 - NYS Archives Photo Location: South of State Rt. 3 between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.
Status: Removed.

The observation station was established on Ampersand in August 1911 though no tower was initially erected. The first structure on Ampersand was a stone hut or cabin for the observer. In 1920, a 22' steel Aermotor LS40 tower was purchased for this site and was erected in 1921.



With the advent of aerial detection this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. This structure was removed in August 1977 because it was deemed excess to the needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and was additionally a "non-conforming use" in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Arab Mt. Fire Tower

Location: South of State Rt. 3, 2 miles from the Hamlet of Piercefield.
Status: Remains and has been restored by the Friends of Mt. Arab.

A Bob Eckler PhotoThe first structure on Arab Mt. was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in September 1911. In 1918, the Conservation Commission replaced it with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places being placed on the latter September 23, 2001.

The site has been adopted and restored by the Friends of Mt. Arab. The results of their efforts can be seen by clicking here.

Arab Mt. is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of the
23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Azure Mt. Fire Tower

A Warren Johnsen Photo Location: 6 miles south of Santa Clara.
Status: Restored by the Friends of Azure Mt. and is open to the public.

The first structure on Azure was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in 1914. In 1918, the Conservation Commission replaced it with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

This tower was closed at the end of the 1979 season and now appears on both the National Historic Lookout Register National Register of Historic Places being placed on the latter September 28, 2001.

An initial meeting of the of Azure Mt. Friends took place in November of 2001 to organize restoration of the facility. The tower had been completely restored the tower was officially "opened" on Sept. 27, 2003. A new map was also created and installed in the cab using the original metal supports.



They now have a terrific website that describes all of their efforts to restore, publicize and encourage use of the site. You can visit their website by clicking here.

Azure is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Bald Mt. Fire Tower (Lewis County)

A Richard Eckler Photo Location: 9 miles northeast of Indian River.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Bald Mt was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in May 1911. In 1918, the Conservation Commission purchased a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower, which was erected on the site in 1919.

With the advent of aerial detection this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. Ownership of the structure was transferred to the landowner. Due to liability concerns the owner, Diamond International had the legs bolts removed and the tower pulled over. Its twisted remains were left at the site.

In 1989 the new owner of the 18,000 acre tract, Henry Lassiter, entered in to an agreement with the DEC, formally known as a "conservation easement", whereby the State purchased the development and recreation rights leaving the land itself and the timber in private ownership. This allows the public use of the land while the owner continues to manage and harvest the timber. Each easement has its own stipulations. On the Lassiter Tract all forms of hunting from September 1 through December 31 until December 31, 2019.

Individuals wishing to visit the site may do so though, without the tower, there is no view from the top.

Bald (Rondaxe) Mt. Fire Tower (Old Forge, Herkimer County)

Location: North of State Rt. 28, 3 1/2 miles northeast of Old Forge.
Status: Remains and has been restored by the Friends of Bald (Rondaxe) Mt.



The first structure on Bald (Rondaxe) Mt. was a wooden tower erected by Conservation Commission in 1912. It's believed that the State arbitrarily named the mountain "Rondaxe" after a nearby lake to prevent any confusion between this and the Bald Mt. in Lewis County, only 23 miles to the northwest. So one might conclude that this site is the Rondaxe Fire Observation Station on Bald Mt. The wooden tower was replaced with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower in 1917.

This tower was closed in 1990 and was reputedly the last operating fire towers in New York State. It now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places, being added to the latter on September 23, 2001.

Harriet Rega was the first women observer hired by the State and Nehasane Park to serve on Mt. Electra from 1924 to 1930. She later served on Bald (Rondaxe) from 1933 to 1936.

The group, The Friends of Bald Mountain, was formed about 2002 and has since restored the tower to its original condition. The "Re-opening Dedication" was June 18, 2005. For detailed information about their work, visit their site by clicking here.

The Friends of Bald Mountain recently signed a formal 5-year. commitment "Adopt-A-Natural-Resource" agreement with the DEC. In addition to restoring the tower, the committee plans to work with local DEC personnel on trail maintenance, improve signege, and an educational component that teaches good conservation practices including fire prevention.

Balsam Lake Mt. Fire Tower

Location: 5 miles northeast of the Hamlet of Hardenbergh.
Status: Remains and has been restored as part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project.

In 1887 the Balsam Lake Club built the first tower on Balsam Lake Mt. to protect its hunting and fishing lands. The tower was later destroyed by lightning in 1901. The Club built a second tower in 1905. This structure was the 35' wooden tower that was taken over by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in 1909 as one of the first fire towers in New York State.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower appears on both the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places, being placed on the latter in 2001. It can be found 1 3/4 miles south of the Hamlet of Belle Ayr on New York State Forest Preserve lands in the Balsam Lake Mt. Wild Forest.

The tower has since been restored and reopened on June 3, 2000 as a part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project by the Friends of the Balsam Lake Mt. Fire Tower. Results of their work can be seen at their new website by

Balsam Lake Mt. is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Bay Shore Fire Tower

A New York State Photo from the Walt Teuber Collection Location: Near Sweenydale Ave, east of Fifth Ave in the community of Brentwood.
Status: Removed.

The first and only structure at Bay Shore, more commonly referred to as Brentwood, was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1948. It was located on Fifth Avenue near Brentwood Road, in the community of Brentwood, at a sand pit on Department of Transportation property.

The tower was operated from 1948 until it was closed in 1959. Due to the vastly increasing population and industrial growth on Long Island, the large number of well equipped volunteer fire departments and the decreasing acres of woodlands, it was decided by the Conservation Department to curtail its forest fire control activities.

Effective September 1, 1959, the Conservation Department withdrew from active participation in forest fire control in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, thereby transferring this responsibility to the town supervisors and closing all of the active fire towers. This structure was                                                         removed in 1960.

Beacon Mt. Fire Tower

Beacon Mt. Fire Tower - 1973 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 2 miles east of the City of Beacon.
Status: Still remains.

This station appeared on the "Fires Reported" list in 1922, 23 and 24, with no evidence of any tower preceding the steel tower that was erected in 1931. It's entirely possible that earlier fire reports came from a location on North Beacon Mt.

Historical data collected shows that a major community existed on top of North Beacon through the first half of the twentieth century. Access was gained to the mountaintop by means of an electric inclined railway that operated from 1901 to 1975 during which an estimated 3 million people road the railway to the 1540' summit, where a casino, hotel and numerous cottages existed.

The structure on South Beacon Mt. is a standard 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1931, which became operational in 1932. It is located about 2 miles southeast of the City of Beacon. The tower was established with funds from Dutchess Co and various private sources.

With the advent of aerial detection this tower was closed
at the end of the 1972 season.

Beacon Mt. was added to the National Historic Lookout Registerin December 2005.

The tower still remains and a group has recently formed with the intent of restoring it. Progress on the restoration is moving along quite rapidly. Below are a couple of recent photos by David Rocco of the Committee to Restore the Beacon Fire Tower.

You can visit the groups website for more information on the project by clicking here.

Bear Mt. Fire Tower

Location:1 mile west-southwest of the Bear Mt. Bridge.
Status: Removed.

In 1928 the Palisades State Park Commission erected a 60' standard Aermotor LS40 tower on the summit of Bear Mt. in Bear Mt. State Park. The tower stood for only seven years and was then taken down to make way for the Perkins Memorial Tower erected in honor of George W. Perkins Sr., first president of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, from 1900 to 1920. It was a gift of Perkins's widow and son in 1934, and for 19 years it was used as a weather station and fire lookout until it was closed in 1953.

In 1990, the Perkins family donated $100,000 to defray the cost of producing new exhibits and also agreed to donate $650,000 over a period of years as an endowment for the maintenance of the tower. It was completely renovated and re-opened to the public.

Beaver Lake Mt. Fire Tower

Location: 4 miles northeast of the Hamlet of Number Four.
Status: Removed.

When this observation station was established in July 1910, no tower was immediately erected due to the lack of tree cover on the mountaintop.

Beaver Lake Mt. Fire Tower - A Bob Eckler Photo The first structure on Beaver Lake Mt was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission on the lands of the Fisher Forestry and Reality Co. about 1915. In 1919, a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower was purchased and erected it on the site in 1920.

The tower was designated as a "secondary tower" in 1941 and operated for only part of the year. It was operated for only a brief time in 1942 reporting only 2 fires and no visitors. It was officially closed in 1947.

This structure was removed in 1977 because it was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and additionally was classified as a "non-conforming structure" in the newly established Pepperbox Wilderness Area.



Beebe Hill Fire Tower

Beebe Hill Fire Tower - 2004 - A Warren Johnsen Photo Location: 2 miles northwest of Austerlitz on the Beebe Hill State Forest.
Status: Restored.

The structure on Beebe Hill is a 60', 1928 vintage, Aermotor LS40 tower that was originally erected on Alander Mt by the Taconic State Park Commission. The tower was removed from Alander in 1930, transferred to the Conservation Department and erected on Washburn Mt. in 1933. The tower was later moved from Washburn to Beebe Hill in 1964.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

In 1997, Beebe Hill Fire Tower was added to the National Historic Lookout Register.

Ten years after the closing of the facility, individuals came together to restore the fire tower and observer's cabin so that the public could safely continue to enjoy Beebe Hill for years to come. This group was made up of local residents, NYS-DEC Foresters, NYS-DEC Forest Rangers and members of the Forest Fire Lookout Association.

During this period the exterior of the cabin was fully restored with a new roof and rustic siding. The fire tower steps and flooring were replaced and the old broken window frames were removed. This group also created the hiking trail system throughout the Beebe Hill State Forest that so many people enjoy today.

By 2002 the majority of the restoration work was completed although the loosely formed group had disbanded. With 80 percent of the work complete three years passed with no forward progress to complete the restoration, so the Forest Fire Lookout Association stepped in and formed the Beebe Hill Chapter of the FFLA.

In 2005 The Beebe Hill Chapter entered into an "Adopt-A-Natural Resource" agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to complete the restoration of the Beebe Hill facility.

In the spring of 2008 volunteers from Local #12 of the Iron Workers Union from Albany, N.Y. will perform work so that the fire tower will be in compliance with the state engineer's safety requirements. Once this has been completed the fire tower will get a fresh coat of paint and new windows placed in the tower cab.

The Chapter is also restoring the cabin interior and open it to the public as a living museum with exhibits illustrating the history on the fire tower system and forest fire control in New York State. Members of the Chapter will also have the opportunity to staff the facility to greet visitors and answer questions. The Chapter is currently developing an environmental education program for children.

Membership to the Beebe Hill Chapter of the FFLA is open to any person regardless of residency by filling out a membership enrollment form a link to which can be found on their website.

Belfry Mt. Fire Tower

Belfry Mt. Fire Tower - 1987 - A Marty Hanna Photo Location: Near Mineville, 8 miles southwest of Westport.
Status: Still remains but is accessible to the public.

The first structure on Belfry was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1917, the Commission replaced the wooden tower with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower still remains on private lands and supports multiple radio antennas.

Belfry is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Belleayre (Belle Ayr) Mt. Fire Tower

Postcard of the first Bellayre Mt. Fire Tower


Location: At Hightmount above the Belleayre Mt. Ski Center.
Status: Removed in 1985.

The first tower was a 65' converted windmill on the property of Eugene E. Howe of Griffen Corners (present-day Fleischmanns) that was taken over by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in 1909 and was one of the first fire towers in New York State. It was located 2 miles west of Pine Hill in Ulster County.

The tower, with its open platform and no cab for protection, was used until it was replaced with a 73' Aermotor LS40 tower in 1930. The station was relocated to afford better protection to a greater area than was given by the original structure.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower remained on the "Inactive" list until it was destroyed by the Department of Environmental Conservation on March 3, 1985, the same year of the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Forest Preserve and the NYS Forest Ranger Force.

Berlin Mt. Fire Tower

Berlin Mt. Fire Tower image courtesy of Henry Isenberg

Location:4 miles east of the Hamlet of Berlin on State Route 22.
Status: Removed

The tower on Berlin Mountain was a 50' steel structure erected as a joint venture among the States of Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. It was erected about 1915 by the State of Massachusetts while all three states contributed to the cost of its operation. It's been reported that the town of Williamstown donated $300 toward the tower. Some of this money was for a stairway for public access instead of a ladder. This was one of two towers erected to replace the tower on Mt. Greylock which had poor visibility.

The tower was staffed until 1923 when the cooperative agreement reportedly fell apart. It was then dismantled by the State of Massachusetts and moved to Brodie Mt. in Hancock. All that remains of this tower on Berlin Mt. are the footings.

Berry Hill Fire Tower

Berry Hill Fire Tower & Observer's Cabin - 2002 - A Paul Hartmann Photo Location: South side of Rt 319 at East Pharsalia.
Status: Remains and is open to the public.

The structure on Berry Hill is a 59' 3" International Derrick tower provided to New York State by the US Forest Service and erected by the CCC's in 1934.

This tower was first staffed in 1935. It was built to look over many thousands of acres of State Forest lands that had been reforested and were considered to be susceptible to fire.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

This is one of only a few New York State towers that bears a manufacturers identification tag. It reads: "THE INTERNATIONAL DERRICK & EQUIPMENT Company (IDECO) Columbus, Ohio Los Angeles."

This tower was placed on the National Historic Lookout Register in 1993. It still remains and the site is accessible but the tower is not. The stairway is gated to prevent access by the public.

Black Mt. Fire Tower

Location: East side of Lake George.
Status: Remains but the tower is closed to the public.

The first structure on Black was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in May 1911. In 1918, the Conservation Commission replaced the wooden tower with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service. Black Mt. is currently being used as a radio repeater and relay site for various police agencies and the tower itself is closed to the public. However, excellent views of Lake George and the surrounding area can been seen from the area adjacent to the tower site.

Of a truly historic nature, just north of the tower, is an etching or scratching on the rock that reads: "R. Rogers 1763". This was apparently done by Robert Rogers of the colonial era "Robert's Rangers". The marking has been deemed authentic by the New York State Education Department.

The pictures below show the evolution of the Black Mt. Fire Tower from the days when it was simply a fire to tower, to when it served as an approach beacon for Glens Falls Airport to the present were it's used solely as a communications site and looks very similar to the monstrosity on Cathead Mt.


Black Mt. is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Blue Mt. Fire Tower

The first tower on Blue Mt. - From the Paul Hartmann Collection. Location: Northeast of the Hamlet of Blue Mt. Lake.
Status: Remains, has been restored and is open to the public.

The first structure on Blue Mt was a wooden tower, about 30' in height, constructed by the Conservation Commission in September 1911. In 1917, the Conservation Commission replaced the wooden tower with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

Blue was operational for 80 years and one of the longest operating towers in the State, second only to St. Regis which operated continuously for 81. During all those years there were four different cabins provided for the observer. The first was a log structure and the other three were of frame construction.

In the 1950's, as the "Cold War" raged and the threat of nuclear annihilation was a serious concern. The USAF had developed a long range radar system to protect against enemy bombers. In addition, they developed and deployed what where known as gap-filler radar stations. Having a range of around sixty-five miles, these radar installations were placed in areas where it was thought enemy aircraft could fly low to avoid detection by the longer-range radars of the permanent and mobile radar networks. One such gap-filler radio station was installed on the summit of Blue Mountain. The station became operational in January of 1959 and was decommissioned in December 1967.

Blue Mt was closed in 1990 and was one of the last operating fire towers in New York State. The tower appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places..

In 1992, the Blue Mt tower and cabin were seriously vandalized by unknown individuals. This occurred about the same time Pharaoh was toppled and some believe it may have been done by the same people. (Click here to view a news article)

Blue Mt has been adopted and restored by local volunteers and is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Boreas Mt. Fire Tower

Boreas Mt. Fire Tower - 1987 - A Fred Knauf Photo Location: 8 miles northwest of the Hamlet of North Hudson.
Status: Removed .

The first structure on Boreas was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in May 1911. In 1919, the Conservation Commission replaced the wooden tower with a 47' LS40 Aermotor tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season and later removed.

Bova Mt. Fire Tower

Courtesy of Allegany State Park Location: Allegany State Park - Above the ski area on the western slope of Bova Mt.
Status: Removed.

The tower on Bova Mt. was one of two 30' steel tower erected by the Park in 1928. The other was erected on the hill behind the Administration Building at Red House. The only picture of the tower is seen on this 1940's ski brochure photo to the right.

Anyone who may have information or an actual photo of this tower is encouraged to contact the webmaster or ASP Forester Darrin Bierfeldt who's been instrumental in searching out much of the history of the Park's fire towers.

Bramley Mt. Fire Tower

Bramley Mt. Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 5 miles east of Delhi
Status: Removed.

The structure on Bramley Mt was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1950. Bramley Mt. lies 2 1/2 miles south of the Hamlet of Bloomville in Delaware County.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. It was sold for $50 and removed from the mountaintop in 1975.

Brookfield Fire Tower

Brookfield Fire Tower - 1966 - An NYSDEC Photo Location: 5 miles southwest of the Hamlet of Brookfield.
Status: Removed in 1983.

The structure at Brookfield was a 79' 6" International Derrick tower moved to this site by the Conservation Department in 1948. It was originally erected by the CCC's on hill near Chenango Lake in 1934-5.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. This structure was sold and removed in 1983.

Buck Mt. Fire Tower

Buck Mt. Fire Tower - 1999 Location: miles south of Tupper Lake and is west of State Rt. 30
Status: Remains but is closed to the public.

Buck Mt. was a privately owned tower that cooperated with the Conservation Department towers during periods of high fire danger. The structure on Buck is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by Whitney Park about 1933.

The structure still remains on lands currently owned by International Paper Company, who signed an agreement on April 11, 2006 to sell all its holdings in the Adirondack Park to Lyme Timber Company for $137 million dollars. Previously, this tower was not accessible to the general public. Will this change when the transaction is completed remains to be seen.

Camp Upton Fire Tower

A New York State PhotoLocation:On what is now Brookhaven National Laboratory property 3 1/2 miles northeast of Yaphank.
Status: Removed.

The structure at Camp Upton, a United States Army installation, was a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1932.

In addition to the steel tower, a wooden tower at Camp Upton was also used by the state for fire observation purposes. On the 7 1/2 minute USGS map there are two "lookout tower" notations in the vicinity of Camp Upton. The northerly site is the former location of the steel tower, while the southerly site is the location of the wooden tower that was also utilized. The concrete footers still remain at the northerly site and the former Fire Warden Larry Paul has first hand knowledge of the wooden tower as he had occasion to visit it before it was closed.

The towers were closed in 1953 and removed in 1955 or 56 by the new landowner, the Brookhaven National Laboratory, who took over the property from the US Army.

Castor Hill Fire Tower

Castor Hill Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 12 miles east of Sandy Creek
Status: Removed.

The structure on Castor Hill was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1927.

in the 1950's a dispute arose between the owner of the land on which the tower stood and the Conservation Department. The dispute couldn't be resolved. Consequently, the tower was dismantled and reassembled across the road on the Little John Game Management Area in 1961.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season and ultimately removed in 1981.

Cat Mt. Fire Tower

cat mt tower-1915(nys archives)-T.jpg - 28691 Bytes

Location: Southwest of Cranberry Lake and 5 1/2 miles from the Hamlet of Wanakena.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Cat was a 37' wooden tower constructed by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in July 1910. In 1917, the Conservation Commission replaced it with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower.




With the advent of aerial detection and the great difficulty of staffing interior towers, Cat Mt. was closed at the end of the 1970 season. This structure was removed about 1977 because it was deemed excess to the needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and was additionally a "non-conforming structure" in the newly established Five Ponds Wilderness Area.




There were some enterprising observers that sold souvenirs to visitors to the tower.
The one pictured bellow is one of those. It reads " Cat Mt. Fire Station - Elevation 2361' - Wanakena, N. Y."
Others were known to have sold postcards or even soft drinks.

Catamount Mt. Fire Tower

Catamount Mt. Fire Tower - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 9 miles southeast of South Colton and west of the Carry Falls Reservoir.
Status: Removed.


The first structure on Catamount was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in October 1911. In 1917 the Conservation Commission replaced the wooden tower with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. This structure, situated on private lands, was removed in the early 1980's.

Cathead Mt. Fire Tower

Cathead Mt. Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 7 miles northwest of Northville.
Status: Remains but is closed to the public due to a dispute between the DEC and a private landowner.

The first structure on Cathead Mt. was an 18' wooden tower constructed in June 1910 by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission. Two and three quarter miles of telephone line was constructed so that the observer could quickly report fires spotted to the local Fire Patrolman/Forest Ranger.

In 1916, the Conservation Commission replaced the wooden tower with a 50' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress. Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919.

In 1929, Aermotor developed a self-supporting staircase for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and was installed in this tower in 1929.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

Access to Cathead is closed to the public because of a dispute between the Department of Environmental Conservation and a private landowner.

Cathead is currently being used as a radio repeater and relay site for various police agencies.

In order to comply with APA policy, which prohibits the placement of any additional towers within the Park, a tower frame was constructed over and attached to the current tower to provide space for radio repeaters and their antennas for various governmental agencies. The result is this monstrosity that exists there today.

Central Islip Fire Tower

Location: Behind Wohlfarth's Gas Station on the Motor Parkway and Wheeler Road in Central Islip.
Status: Removed.

According to former Fire Warden Larry Paul, the tower in Central Islip was likely the lower portion of the Oakdale tower that once stood on the South Side Sportsman's Club, now the Connetquot River State Park at Oakdale. This tower was used to release pheasants until a state law was passed which prohibited the practice. Some say this consisted of throwing the birds off the top of the tower. The Oakdale Tower was subsequently taken down and divided into two unequal sections. A 60' portion was erected behind Bob Wohlfarth's Gas Station at the intersection of the Motor Parkway and Wheeler Road.

Central Islip Tower was operated by the Conservation Commission during portions of 1922 and 23 reporting 28 fires in 1922 and 62 in 1923. A search of the archived payroll records for that period showed that the State paid Bob Wohlfarth to operate the Central Islip Tower in April, May and June of '23 and Jack Wohlfarth for September and October of '23.

While the actual ownership of the tower is unknown, it was an operating State facility for two years.

Chenango Lake Fire Tower

CCC Camp member constructing the tower at Chenango Lake - 1935. Location: 4 miles east of Norwich on the south side of State Rt. 23
Status: Removed in 1948.

The structure at Chenango Lake was a 79' 6" International Derrick tower that was provided to New York State by the USFS and erected by the CCC's. The footers was completed in 1934 and the tower completed in 1935. The tower was first operated in 1936 reporting 2 fires and 49 visitors.

The tower was located about 4 miles northeast of Norwich in the Chenango County. The tower was staffed from 1936 through 1943 and again in 1946. In 1948 the tower was dismantled and moved to a site near Brookfield.

Chapin Hill Fire Tower

Chapin Hill Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 8 miles southwest of Monticello.
Status: Removed.

The Sullivan Co Board of Supervisors appropriated money for an observation station between Highland and Bethel on Chapin Hill. The structure, a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower, was completed early in the spring of 24 in time for use throughout the 1924 season. It was located about 8 1/2 miles southwest of Monticello.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season and has subsequently been removed.

Clove Mt. Fire Tower

Clove Mt. Fire Tower - 1987 - A Marty Hanna Photo Location: 7 miles south of the Village of Millbrook.
Status: Still remains but is closed to the public.

The structure on Clove is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1933. It's lies 3 1/2 miles east of the James Baird State Park on the Taconic State Parkway.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service. Though the tower still remains, it's on private lands and is closed to the public.

Clock Fire Observation Station

Location: Unsubstantiated reports indicate it may have been in South Huntington, on High Hill, also known as Jaynes Hill, the highest point on Long Island.
Status: Removed.

The observation station named "Clock" was only used for part of one year. There is no documentation for this site other than a brief notation in the 1920 Conservation Report to the New York State Legislature and unsubstantiated reports.

Colfax Mt. Fire Tower Colfax Mt Fire Tower - A Bob Eckler Photo

Location: 5 miles east of Greenwich and 4 miles not of Cambridge.
Status: Remains but is closed to the public.

The structure on Colfax is an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1950. This tower was placed in service in 1951 reporting 23 fires and 750 visitors.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower still remains but is closed to the public.

Cornell Hill Fire Tower

Cornell Hill Fire Tower - 2002 - A Paul Laskey Photo Location: 2 1/2 miles east of Malta on US Route 9.
Status: Remains.

The Board of Supervisors of Saratoga County early in the year, appropriated the sum of $1,000 to be used for the establishment of a fire observation station on Cornell Hill located about 2 miles southeast of Saratoga Lake. Additional funds were contributed by a local landowner too defray the expense of putting up the tower, the cabin and building the necessary telephone line.

The structure on Cornell Hill is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1923 and was operational in 1924.

Of historical importance, the observer pictured, Noah LaCasse served as the observer on Cornell Hill from 1925 to 1934. In 1901 Mr. LaCasse was a guide in the party of then Vice President Theodore Roosevelt at the time he was hiking to Mt. Marcy when President McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo N. Y. With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower still remains on private land known as Luther Forest and now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register.

It is planned that in the summer of 2008 the Luther Forest Corporation will have the tower dismantled and moved to a new site on the former Boy Scout Camp Saratoga which is now a part of the Wilton Wildlife Refuge.

Crane Mt. Fire Tower

Crane Mt. Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 6 miles south of Wevertown.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Crane was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in September 1911. In 1918 the Conservation Commission purchased a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower that was erected on this site in 1919.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. Crane Mt. Tower was declared surplus in 1984 and removed in 1987.

Cross River Fire Tower

Cross River Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 2 miles north of Pound Ridge on the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Cross River was a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by Westchester County Park Commission, a former Region in the Division of Parks, on the Pound Ridge Reservation in 1926. The Conservation Department took over operation of the tower in 1931.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season, sold in the mid 1970's and later removed.

Dairy Hill Fire Tower

Dairy Hill Fire Tower - 1985 - A Paul Hartmann Photo Location: 5 miles east of the Village of Newport.
Status: Removed in 1991.


The structure on Dairy Hill was a 79' 6" International Derrick tower provided to New York State by the US Forest Service and erected by the CCC's in 1934. This tower was first staffed in 1935 reporting 6 fires and 568 visitors.

The tower was closed in 1986 and both the tower and cabin were later removed because of extreme vandalism at the site.

Debar Mt. Fire Tower

Debar Mt. Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 4 miles northeast of Meacham Lake.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Debar was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1918, the Commission replaced it with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower. With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season and removed in 1979.

Diamond Mt. Fire Tower

Location:3 miles northeast of Sloatsburg
Status: Removed.

The first steel tower here was constructed using the steel from the old Bear Mt. tower in 1935 by the Palisades State Park Commission. This tower was taken down in 1955, and the steel removed to the Merrit Bank yard for safe keeping.

In 1966 the Park Commission purchased and erected an 80' Aermotor LS 40 tower which had louvered aluminum windows in the observation cab. It stood for twenty years until it too was removed in 1986. The Park's operation of it's fire towers ceased in the early 1980's because of manpower shortages and budget restrictions. The system of fire detection, enhanced by the towers at Fingerboard, Diamond, Jackie Jones and Sterling, came to a halt shortly afterwards, in 1989, when the Department of Environmental Conservation de-activated most of its fire observation stations. No photos of either of the Diamond Mt. towers have been located. Some steel pieces from these towers were used at Sterling Fire Tower to construct handrails and make other repairs when Sterling Forest State Park was created in 1998.

Dickinson Hill Fire Tower

Location: 2 3/4 miles northeast of the Hamlet of Grafton
Status: Remains and is open to the public.

The City of Troy subscribed $1,000 towards the expense of establishing this tower. The City's interest in this station was that it covered the forested area of the city watershed, which includes hundreds of acres of plantations.

The structure on Dickinson Hill is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1924.

The tower was closed in the spring of 1974. The Beebe Hill tower, to the south, near the town of Austerlitz replaced this tower with respect to spotting forest fires. Until recently, the tower and the land on which it stands were under the control of the New York State Police. They use the site for a repeater tower to aid in radio communications.

The Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park, a group formed several years ago, has been trying to convince the State Police to turn over the Dickinson Hill Fire Tower site to the State Park Commission so it can be safely restored and opened to park visitors. In early 2011 this transfer took place and the group is now in the process of restoring the tower to its original condition. The site is not currently open to the public as additional work has to be done in order to render it safe for public use.

This tower appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and is open to the public.

The observer's cabin on Dickinson Hill was unlike any of the other cabins across the State. Patterned after the 1922 design, mandating that they be 12' x 16' in size and roofed and sided with asphalt shingles, it had, in addition, a rather unique stone fireplace and chimney.

A book entitled "I remember when: The Untold Story of Helen Ellett" written by Randy Kneer was officially released on June 11, 2011 at a book signing ceremony at the Grafton Lakes State Park. Helen and Randy were signing books all afternoon.

Dix Hills Fire Tower

Dix Hills Fire Tower - A Larry Paul Photo Location: Dix Hills - South of Vanderbuilt Parkway and west of Deer Park Avenue.
Status: Removed.

Dix Hills first appeared on the table of active observation stations in 1922.

The 60' Aermotor LS40 steel tower was completed very early in the spring of 1924 by the Conservation Commission. Funds for the station were provided by an interested landowner in its the vicinity.

The construction of Bay Shore and Kings Park towers made it possible to close and remove Dix Hill in 1948. This structure was removed and was destined to be erected at a new location four miles to the west known as West Hills. These plans never materialized. In the winter of 1948-49, it was taken to Saranac Lake to be used for spare parts.

Dun Brook Mt. Fire Tower

Location: 6 miles northeast of Blue Mt. Lake.
Status: Removed in the early 1900's.

The only structure on Dunn Brook Mt was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in May 1911.

This tower was closed in 1920. There are no photos or other information to be had on this site.

Erwin Fire Tower

Erwin Fire Tower - 1973 - A Richard Eckler Photo

Location: 4 miles west of Corning.
Status: Removed.

The structure, on the Erwin Game Management Area, was an 82' 6" International Derrick tower erected by CCC Camp S-123, Beaver Dams beginning in 1940 and completed in 1941. This tower was first staffed in 1943 reporting 65 fires and 90 visitors.

Erwin was staffed regularly until 1972 when the advent of aerial detection caused this tower to be closed and placed on the "Inactive" list. It was maintained for flood emergency communications until 1978.

This structure was declared excess, no longer needed for either fire or flood emergencies, and was sold in 1979.

Fingerboard Mt. Fire Tower

Location:3 miles southeast of Harriman.
Status: Removed.

In 1928 a 60" standard Aermotor LS40 tower was erected on Fingerboard Mt. by the Palisades State Park Commission on Harriman State Park. It was one of three such towers erected that same year. The others were on Bear Mt. and Jackie Jones Mt. With their completion, the Park Commission felt that an adequate system of fire detection had been attained.

The tower was operated by the Park until the early 1970's when it was closed and removed.

Flanders Hill Fire Tower

Flanders Hill Fire Tower - A NYS Photo from the Walt Teuber Collection Location: Flanders Hill - 3 miles southeast of Riverhead.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Flanders Hill was a 47' Aermotor tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in 1918 and was operational in 1919.

The tower was operated from 1918 until it was closed in 1959 when the Conservation Department withdrew from active participation in forest fire control activities on Long Island.

This structure was dismantled and removed in 1960 by a local demolition contractor.





Ft. Noble Mt. Fire Tower

Ft Noble Mt Tower -1910 - A NYS Archives Photo

Location: North of State Rt. 8 at Nobleboro on the Herkimer - Hamilton County line.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Ft. Noble Mt. was a 30' wooden tower constructed by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in July 1910. In 1916 the Conservation Commission replaced it with a 50' Aermotor LL25 tower.

It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress. Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919.

The 1950's vintage picture to the right shows a horizontal pole with wires attached. This was the antenna for the AM two-way radio system.

The tower was closed in 1978. This structure was later removed because it was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and additionally was classified as a "non-conforming use" in the Ft. Noble Primitive Area.

Once the tower was removed, it paved the way for changing the land classification to Wilderness.

Gallis Hill Fire Tower

1933 - Gallis Hill Fire Tower photo courtesy of the George VanSiclke Collection.  Many thanks to the Town of Hurley Historian, Deana Decker for helping to discover this very rare photo. "> Location: 3 miles northeast of Kingston.
Status: Removed in 1950.

The structure on Gallis was a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower, erected by the Conservation Department in 1927. The first standard design for observer's cabins was developed in 1922, mandating that they be 12’ x 16’ in size and roofed and sided with asphalt shingles. A cabin of this design was erected at the same time as the tower.

This 1933 photo is through the courtesy of the George VanSickle Collection. Pictured are Mr. VanSickle's aunt and uncle. Thanks too goes to the Town of Hurley Historian, Deana Decker for helping to discover this very rare photo.

In 1950 the tower was closed and moved 8 miles to the north to a new site on Overlook Mt. where it still remains today.

Gilbert Lake Fire Tower

Location:
Status:

The structure at Gilbert Lake State Park was an 80’ Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the CCC’s in 1934.

Camp members staffed the tower during dry periods until its closure in 1941. From 1941 to 1948 there is no evidence that the tower was ever staffed. It was transferred to the Conservation Department in 1948 and moved to Leonard Hill in Schoharie County.

The tower was located about 4 miles northeast of Norwich in the Chenango County. The tower was staffed from 1936 through 1943 and again in 1946. In 1948 the tower was dismantled and moved to a site near Brookfield.

Georgetown Fire Tower

Georgetown Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 3 1/2 miles north of the Village of Georgetown.
Status: Removed.

The structure at Georgetown was 67' 6" International Derrick tower erected by the CCC Camp S-103, DeRuyter in 1940.

It's actually located on Morrow Mt., which rises to 2,142 and is the highest point in Madison County.

It's located near the center of the 1,290 acre Morrow Mountain State Forest and only two miles from the Hamlet of Georgetown, where it got its name.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season and later removed.

A New Hartford resident recently purchased the dismantled parts of the tower and hopes to re-erect the fire tower at his camp in Oppenheim, NY. 20 miles northeast of Johnstown.

Gilbert Lake Fire Tower

Location:At Gilbert Lake State Park in the Town of New Lisbon, Otsego County
Status: Removed

The structure at Gilbert Lake was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the CCC's in 1934 for the Conservation Department's Division of State Parks.

The CCC camp members staffed the tower during dry periods until its closure in 1941. From 1941 to 1948 there is no evidence that the tower was ever staffed. It was transferred to the Bureau of Forest Fire Control in 1948 and moved to Leonard Hill in Schoharie County.

Goodnow Mt. Fire Tower

Goodnow Mt. Fire Tower - 1988 - A Bob Berch Photo Location: South of Rt. 28N 2 miles west of Newcomb.
Status: Restored and is open to the public.

Goodnow Mt. was chosen as an ideal site for an observation station in the town of Newcomb, Essex county, in 1921. A steel tower had been secured through extensive cooperation of landowners and lumbermen operating in the area in hopes to have it operational in 1922.

The structure on Goodnow Mt is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission in the early spring of 1922.

The tower was closed at the end of the 1979 season. It was later transferred to the landowner, SUNY College of Forestry, Huntington Forest. The tower and cabin have been completely restored by the landowner and the tower is open to the public. Goodnow Mt. now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register.

Goodnow is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Gomer Hill Fire Tower

Gomer Hill Fire Tower - 2001 - A Paul Hartmann Photo Location: 4 miles west of the Hamlet of Turin.
Status: Remains.

The structure on Gomer Hill was an 67' 6" International Derrick tower erected by the CCC Camp S-122, Boonville in 1940. The tower was first staffed in 1941 reporting 2 fires and 161 visitors.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. It was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.


The site is open to the public but the tower is not as it is used as an antenna support structure. The cabin was moved to the Lowville Demonstration Forest in Dadville where it's a part of their forest fire control exhibit along with the upper portion of the Number Four Fire Tower.

Gore Mt. Fire Tower

Gore Mt. Fire Tower - 1973 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 4 miles west of the Village of North Creek.
Status: Remains.

The first structure on Gore was an 18' wooden tower constructed by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in August 1909. In 1918 it was replaced with a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission.











The tower was blown over during a hurricane in October 1919 but was quickly re-erected and back in operation for the 1920 season. During that same storm, Hadley Mt. Tower was also blown down.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower still remains and is used as a communications relay tower with numerous dish antennas attached to it.

Gore is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Graham Fire Tower

Graham Mt. Fire Tower - 1987 - A Marty Hanna Photo Location: 2 1/2 miles south of Otisville on the Shawangunk Range.
Status: Remains but is closed to the public.

This tower, a 60' Aermotor LS40 was previously located on Pocatello Mt. since 1930 until it was moved to Graham in 1948. It's found on the Shawangunk Range about 3 miles southwest of Otisville.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service. Graham Tower appears on the National Historic Lookout Register.

Although the tower still remains, both it and the surrounding area are closed to the public.

Hadley Mt. Fire Tower

towers2/Hadley Mt. Tower & Cabin -1950s- An Albert Brooks Photo Location: 8 miles northwest of the Village of Lake Luzerne.
Status: Remains and has been restored by the Friends of Hadley Mt.

Plans for a tower on Hadley Mt were made in 1916 when satisfactory arrangements could not be made for the continuance of Ohmer Mt. Hadley is 4 3/4 miles northeast of Ohmer Mt. The Conservation Commission purchased in 1916 and installed in 1917, a 50' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lightweight design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress. Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public.

A self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower in 1929.

The tower was blown over during a hurricane in October 1919 but was quickly re-erected and back in operation for the 1920 season. During that same storm, Gore Mt. Tower was also blown down.

This tower was closed August 24, 1990, being one of the last active fire towers in New York State.

The tower has been restored by the Hadley Fire Tower Committee in the late 1990's and now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the , being placed there in Sept 23, 2001.

Hadley is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Hamilton Mt. Fire Tower

Hamilton Mt. Fire Tower - 1913 - From the Lila Morris Collection Location: 5 miles southeast of Lake Pleasant.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Hamilton Mt. was an 18' wooden tower constructed in October 1909 by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission. In 1916 it was replaced with a 50' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the
exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress.

Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919. These were later replaced with a steel staircase with wood treads as shown in the adjoining picture.

In 1929, a self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower in 1931.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season.

This structure was removed about 1977 because it was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and additionally was classified as a "non-conforming structure" in the newly established Silver Lake Wilderness Area.

Hartzfelt Mt. Fire Tower

Hartzfelt Hill-1973-1 NYS-DEC Photo-T.jpg - 69326 Bytes Location: 4 miles south of Olean.
Status: Removed in 1973.

Efforts were being made to establish a station here beginning in 1923.

The structure on Hartzfelt was erected by the Conservation Commission in 1924. The funds for establishment, which included a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower and cabin, were provided by subscriptions from local landowners and towns in the vicinity of the station.

In 1967, the Conservation Department realized the benefit of radio repeater stations to extend two-way communications and acquired the land where the tower stood for a repeater site serving Conservation Law Enforcement and others.

Hartzfelt was staffed regularly until the advent of aerial detection caused this tower to be closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower was dismantled and removed in 1973.

High Point Fire Tower

High Point Fire Tower & Observer's Cabin - 1948 - A Larry Paul Photo

Location: 3 miles east of Ellenville on the Shawangunk Range.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on High Point was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1919 it was replaced with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission on the northern shoulder of the mountain.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season and later removed.

Hooker Hill Fire Tower

Hooker Hill Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 7 miles south of Cooperstown.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Hooker Hill was a 79' 6" International Derrick E-4898 tower that was provided to the State of New York by the US Forest Service and erected by the CCC Camp S-93, Breakabean. The tower was first operated in 1936 reporting 3 fires but no visitors. Hooker was located 7 1/2 miles southeast of Cooperstown on the Hooker Hill State Forest.

It was staffed regularly until the advent of aerial detection caused the closing of this tower at the end of the 1970 season.

This structure was sold in 1975 for $490. In November of 2001, the person who initially purchased it, transferred ownership to Marty Podskoch, author of three books on New York State Fire Towers, one volume on the Catskill Towers and two on the Adirondack Fire Towers.

Since that time Marty has moved to the Connecticut. The tower parts are now in the hands of the Town of Speculator who have not at yet found a suitable place to erect it.

Hunter Mt. Fire Tower

The original wooden tower on Hunter Mt.  c.1909


Location: 2 miles south of the Hamlet of Hunter.
Status: Still remains, has been restored and is open to the public.

The first structure on Hunter was a 40' wooden tower erected by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in August 1909. Three quarters of a mile of telephone line was constructed so that the observer could quickly
report fires to the local Forest Ranger.

The Conservation Commission replaced it with a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower in 1917. The tower lies 2 1/4 miles south of the Village of Hunter on New York State Forest Preserve lands designated at the Hunter Mt. Wild Forest.

In 1950, the tower was moved northerly about 1000' to its current location on the true summit of the mountain, which was considered a more effective site.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

Hunter Mt. Fire Tower has been restored and was reopened on August 7, 2000 as a part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project. It appears on both the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

Hunter Mt. is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Hurricane Mt. Fire Tower

Hurricane Mt. Fire Tower Postcard - c.1955 - From the Paul Hartmann Collection Location: North of Rt. 9N, 5 miles west of Elizabethtown.
Status: Still remains but is in danger of being removed by the DEC.

When this observation station was established in April 1910, no tower was immediately erected, as an unobstructed view was available due to the lack of tree cover on the mountaintop. There is currently no evidence that a tower was ever built on Hurricane until 1919 when the Conservation Commission erected a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

The tower was closed about 1979. The tower was slated for removal in late 2001 or in 2002 as it is deemed a "non-conforming structure" in the Hurricane Mt. Primitive Area. However, it still remains at this time and there appears to growing support to retain the tower even though it's deemed by some to be in violation of the State Land Master Plan (SLMP). Hurricane Mt. now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register.

The DEC is currently working on completing the unit management plan for the Hurricane Mountain Primitive Area, which could reclassify the summit from primitive to wilderness. If the reclassification is successful, the tower would be removed under guidelines for wilderness areas. The Friends of Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower group encourages all interested parties to contact the DEC in support of declaring the summit where the tower stands as a Historic Area, similar to John Brown's Farm, Crown Point and most recently Camp Santanoni, so the tower can remain for historical and educational purposes. That concept was later deemed inappropriate under the current guidelines in the SLMP.

The future existence of this tower is hotly disputed by most environmental groups due to the fact that the SLMP regards this fire tower as "non-conforming use." The APA has tabled final decision on this and all other towers pending the completion by the DEC of a fire tower management plan covering all towers within the Adirondack Park.

After a five year battle, on April 15, 2010 the Adirondack Park Agency has yielded to public pressure to allow both Hurricane and St. Regis Mountain Fire Towers to remain where they stand and amend the State Land Master Plan to recognize this decision. In addition, the Adirondack Council, who campaigned long and hard for their removal has indicated that it will not challenge the decision in the courts.

Hurricane is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Ingraham Hill Fire Tower

Ingraham Hill Fire Tower - c.1950 - A Broome County Historical Society Photo Location: 2 miles south of Binghamton.
Status: Remains but is closed to the public.

The structure on Ingraham is an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1950. This tower was placed in service in 1951 reporting 6 fires and 39 visitors.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. This structure was sold sometime in the 1970's to a local communications company, who removed the tower cab and is using the resulting platform to support communications antennas. The site is not open to the public.

Mt. Irvine Fire Tower

Footers of Mt. Irvine Fire Tower - Courtesy of Allegany State Park

Location:On Allegany State Park
Status: Removed

In 1928 the Conservation Department's Division of State Parks erected a standard 60' Aermotor LS40 tower on the east side of Allegany State Park on the highest point between the head waters of Rice Brook and South Carrollton Creek better know as Mt. Irvine. When jurisdiction over several State Parks towers was transferred to Forest Fire Control in 1931, Mt. Irvine was not one of them. The Park retained jurisdiction and staffed the tower only in times of high fire danger.

By the end of 1928, the park had five fire towers in operation and felt that all five, working together, would provide excellent coverage of the park property. The three primary towers were Mt. Irvine, Mt. Tuscarora and Summit. Two 30' steel towers were also put in place. One was on the hill behind the Administration Building at Red House and the other on the western slope of Bova Mt.

Three years after erecting the tower on Mr. Irvine, the Park moved it to Science Hill, a point southwest of the Bradford entrance near the Pennsylvania border, where it remained until 1978. It was then taken down by Park personnel and reassembled by an Ellicottville BOCES class near their school.

Unfortunately, the only available picture is of the tower footers shown above. Anyone who may have an actual photo of tower when it stood on Mt. Irvine is encouraged to contact the webmaster or ASP Forester Darrin Bierfeldt who's been instrumental in searching out much of the history of the Park's fire towers.

Jackie Jones Fire Tower

Jackie Jones Fire Tower - 2002 - A Paul Laskey Photo Location: 4 miles west of Stony Point on the south side of Rt. 210 at Lake Welch.
Status: Remains.

The structure on Jackie Jones is a 60' steel tower erected by the Palisades State Park Commission on Bear Mt. State Park in 1928. It replaced a wooden tower that stood there previously. The Conservation Department's Bureau of Forest Fire Control took over operation of Jackie Jones Tower in 1931.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

In 1928, according to official documents, “The three new steel towers erected ... on Fingerboard Mountain, Tom Jones Mountain and Bear Mountain, with a wooden tower already on Jackie Jones Mountain, have given the Commission a complete system of fire control.”

The above statement presents a bit of a dilemma for other documentation indicates that a steel tower was erected on Jackie Jones Mt in 1928. It is more than likely that the tower originally intended for Tom Jones Mountain was diverted to Jackie Jones.

This tower appears on the National Historic Lookout Register, still remains and is open to the public.



Jersey Hill Fire Tower

Jersey Hill Fire Tower - 1973 - A Richard Eckler Photo Location: 3 1/2 miles north of West Almond.
Status: Removed in 1987.

The CCC's completed the footers for this tower in 1934. The structure on Jersey Hill was 79' 6" International Derrick tower constructed by the CCC's in 1935. Occasionally referred to as Birdsall Hill, Jersey Hill Tower is located in the Town of Birdsall, Allegany County.

This, like many Southern Tier towers wasn't intended to be an extension of the close knit system of towers in the Adirondacks and Catskills but rather, most of these towers were located amidst large holdings on State Forest lands in order to protect those lands from fire. Additionally, the CCC's built many miles of truck trails and fire breaks and hundreds of water holes for better access, to prevent fire spread and to aid in extinguishment when fires occurred.

Many of these towers were only staffed on an as-needed basis by other Division of Lands and Forests personnel.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed, declared surplus and removed in August 1987.

Kane Mt. Fire Tower

kane mt tower-2004-4(paul hartmann)-T.jpg - 95008 Bytes Location: 3 Miles north of the Village of Caroga Lake.
Status: Remains and has been restored by the Canada Lakes Protective Assn.

The structure on is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in 1925.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower had been restored and is maintained by the Canada Lakes Protective Assn. and is open to the public. Kane Mt. now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places being added to the latter September 23, 2001.

Kane Mt. is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Kempshall Mt. Fire Tower

Kempshall Mt. Fire Tower - c.1950 - A New York State Photo Location: 5 miles northeast of the Village of Long Lake.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Kempshall was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in May 1911. In 1918 the wooden tower was replaced with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. This structure was removed because it was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and additionally was classified as a "non-conforming structure" in the newly established High Peaks Wilderness Area.

This tower has been removed. Portions of this tower and the West Mt tower were used to erect the tower that now stands at the Essex County Historical Museum in Elizabethtown NY.

Kings Park Fire Tower

Location: North of the community of Kings Park near the Meadow State Parkway interchange.
Status: Removed.


Kings Park Fire Tower - A Larry Paul Photo



The tower was operated from 1948 until it was closed in 1959 when the Conservation Department withdrew from active participation in forest fire control activities on Long Island.

The structure at Kings Park was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1948.

The Long Island State Park Commission removed this structure in 1960. The lower 47' portion is now used as an observation platform at Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area near Buffalo. Visitors can still clearly see the words "NYSCD Kings Park LI" stenciled on some of the steel pieces.

Leonard Hill Fire Tower

Leonard Hill Fire Tower - 2004 - A Warren Johnsen Photo Location: 1 mile south of Broome Center in southernmost Schoharie Co.
Status: Remains .

The structure on Leonard Hill is an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1948. The tower was previously at Gilbert Lake State Park from 1932 until it was dismantled and moved in 1948. It's currently found about 13 1/2 miles east of Stamford on the Leonard Hill State Forest.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower still remains, is open to the public and has been adopted by a local group that plans to begin restoration work once an engineering study of the structure is completed.

Loon Lake Mt. Fire Tower

Loon Lake Mt. Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 4 miles west of Loon Lake and the Hamlet of the same name.
Status: Remains.

The first structure on Loon Lake was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1917 it was replaced it with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

The tower blew over during the winter of 1927-8 but was quickly reconstructed.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season.

The tower still remains but will soon be open to the public. In 2010 the trail to the summit will be open to the public by means of a Conservation Easement between the DEC and the landowner.

Lyon Mt. Fire Tower

Lyon Mt. Observer's Cabin - 1973 - A Bob Eckler Photo

Location: 7 miles west of Dannemora.
Status: Still remains and is accessible to the public.

When this observation station was established in April 1910, no tower was immediately erected due to the lack of tree cover on the mountaintop. There is no evidence that a tower was ever built on Lyon until 1917 when the Conservation Commission erected a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

Until recently, the tower and trail lay on property of Domtar Industries Timber Company according to Jack Freeman of the ADK. In January, 2005, Domtar sold 20,000 acres of its holdings around Lyon Mt. to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for eventual re-sale to New York State. TNC and ADK are collaborating to redesign the trail, and some work by DEC to recondition the tower began in 2005, with more work envisioned for 2006.

Lyon Mt is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Makomis Mt. Fire Tower

The enclosed wooden tower first used for spotting forest fires on Makomis Mt. Location: 1 mile east of Underwood and near the intersection of I-87 and State Rt. 73.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Makomis Mt. was a fully enclosed wooden tower taken over by the Conservation Commission in September 1911. It's doubtful that the Conservation Department actually built the structure. In 1916 it was replaced with a 40' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress. Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919.

A self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower in 1933.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season and later removed. The dismantled tower is now owned by a resident of Plattsburg who hopes to erect it on an escarpment located north of the city.

McCarty Hill Fire Tower

McCarty Hill  Fire Towr - 1988 - A  Fred Knauf Photo

Location: 5 miles northwest of Great Valley
Status: Removed in 1993.

The structure on McCarty was an 82' 6" International Derrick tower erected by the CCC Camp S-106, Salamanca in 1940. The tower was first staffed in 1941 reporting 4 fires and 980 visitors.

Early reference to this tower occasionally called it Irish Hill. That may have been the site initially proposed for this facility but was decided against in lieu of McCarty Hill. Irish Hill is 6 miles northeast of McCarty Hill.

The tower was staffed regularly until it ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. It was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to faze them out of service.

Since 1987, it also served as a repeater site for the Cattaraugus Co Sheriff's Department. The Department allowed the County to place an antenna on the tower and the related equipment in a small building at the base. A chain-link fence was also authorized for security reasons.

In 1993 the Department entered into a Concurrent Use and Occupancy agreement that allowed the Sheriff's Department to erect a free standing tower on the site where the fire tower stood. The dismantling and removal of the fire tower and the erection of the new radio tower took place at the same time.

Meenahga Mt. Fire Tower

A Mark Haughwout Photo Location: 7 miles north of Bloomingdale on the northwest side of Rainbow Lake.
Status: Remains on private land and is closed to the public.

Meenahga Mt. is a privately owned tower that cooperated with the Conservation Department towers during periods of high fire danger.

The structure on Meenahga is a 73' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by Conservation Department Forest Ranger Albert Tebeau in 1927 for the Adirondack-Florida School. Ranger Tebeau erected most of the fire observation stations in the northern Adirondacks.

While it was primarily for the use of the School, the tower would be used as a fire observation station through an agreement between the School and the Department.

The tower still remains on private land and is closed to the public.

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Mt. Morris Fire Tower

Mt. Morris Fire Tower - 1977 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: South of the Village of Tupper Lake.
Status: Remains on private property and is closed to the public.

When this observation station was established in July 1909, no tower was immediately erected, as an unobstructed view was available due to the lack of tree cover on the mountaintop. In 1919, the wooden tower was replaced with a 22' Aermotor LS40 tower, which was purchased the previous year.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. In the late 70's jurisdiction was transferred to the Town of Altamont who has incorporated the cabin into their ski center operations. The tower supports numerous radio antennas and is not accessible to the public.

Mohonk Fire Tower

Mohonk Fire Tower - 1973 - A Richard Eckler Photo Location: 4 miles west of New Paltz and north of Rt. 299.
Status: Remains on private lands and is open only to hotel guests.

The first structure here was a wooden tower erected in 1912 by the Conservation Commission on Dickie Bar Ridge, to the west of the Coxing Kill, on a height of land just a mile northeast of the Hamlet of Minnewaska.

When the Smiley family, owners of Mohonk Lake and the Hotel, learned that the State was planning to replace the wooden tower with a steel structure they opposed it, offering instead to make a place in the new Smiley Memorial Tower for the observer. The tower, at its new location overlooking Mohonk Lake, was completed in 1923 and served as the fire observation station until May 1971 when this site was closed.

The memorial tower still remains but is now open only to guests of the hotel. It can be seen on a hill top when driving west from New Paltz on Route 299.

Moose River Fire Tower

Location: Adjacent to the Moose River Rd. half way between the Hamlets of Moose River and Porters Corners.
Status: Closed in 1919 and later removed.

The first and only structure at this site was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1912 adjacent to the Moose River Rd in the Town of Lyonsdale, Lewis County.

When a steel tower was purchased in 1919, it was erected at a new site, eleven miles to the northeast of this location and three miles west of Thendara in the Town of Webb, Herkimer County. With the establishment of the new tower on what would be known as Moose River Mt., this site was abandon.

Moose River Mt. Fire Tower

Moose River Mt. Fire Tower - 1976 Location: 2 miles west of Thendara in the Ha-de-ron-dah Wilderness Area.
Status: Removed in 1977.

The first and only structure at this site was a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower purchased and erected by the Conservation Commission in 1919. It replaced a wooden tower that operated for eight years at a site in the Town of Lyonsdale, Lewis County some eleven miles to the southwest. This site offered "a far better view" than the former according to the Conservation Commission. It's believed that the naming of the mountain came with the moving of the tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season.

This structure was removed in 1977 because it was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and additionally was classified as a "non-conforming use" in the newly established Ha-de-ron-dah Wilderness Area.

Moosehead Mt. Fire Tower

Moosehead Mt. Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 2 miles northeast of Sevey Corners.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on Moosehead was a 20' wooden tower erected by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in June 1910. In 1916 it was replaced with a 40' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress. Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919.

A self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed in 1969. This tower, situated on private land, was removed in the early 1980's.

Morgan Hill Fire Tower

Morgan Hill Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 3 1/2 miles north of Truxton.
Status: Removed in 1978.

The structure on was an 82' 6" International Derrick tower and was begun by the CCC Camp S-103, DeRuyter in 1940 and completed in 1941.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower was removed in November 1978.

Mt. Electra Fire Tower

Mt. Electra Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler PhotoLocation: 4 miles north of the easterly end of the Stillwater Reservoir.
Status: Dismantled and left at the site.

Mt. Electra was a privately owned tower that cooperated with the Conservation Department towers during periods of high fire danger.

The structure on Mt. Electra, previously known as Rock Lake Mt, was a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Webb Estate about 1920. The actual date of construction cannot be verified. This served as a "secondary tower" and it is suspected that the landowner provided an observer during periods of dry weather.

Further research by Marty Podskoch revealed that the State and Webb family had an understanding where by the State would share in the cost of paying the observer but the Webb family would do the hiring. In one instance in 1942, Department records show that the observer, Francis Boone's salary was paid at least partially by the State of New York. Francis Boone was the sister of Forester Charlie Boone who would become the Supt. of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control in the early 1970's.

The property and the tower became a part of the New York State Forest Preserve
in the late 1970's. As the land was added to the Five Ponds Wilderness Area the
tower was classified as a "Non-conforming use" and was dismantled in 1989 and
left at the site.

Nelson Fire Tower

Nelson Fire Tower - 1961  A Larry Paul Photo

Location: Salt Hill, 4 miles southwest of Peekskill and a mile north of the New Croton Reservoir.

Status: Taken down but still remains at the site.

The structure on Nelson was a 73' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1950. This tower was placed in service in 1951 reporting 22 fires and 70 visitors.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. Some time following that date the tower was cut down or pulled over by persons unknown and its twisted remains were still on the summit of Salt Hill in late 2005.



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Pictured here are the remains of the Nelson Fire Tower as they looked in 2005

New Boston Fire Tower

New Boston Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location:North of State Rt. 177 at the Hamlet of New Boston.
Status: Removed.

The structure on New Boston was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1950.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower was dismantled and removed by DEC personnel in 1982.

Nimham Mt. Fire Tower

Nimham Mt Fire Tower Restoration Dedication  -  7-24-05 Location: 3 miles northwest of Carmel.
Status: Remains, has been restored and is open to the public.

Nimham Mountain, named after Chief Daniel Nimham of the Wappingers tribe, contains 1,023 acres in the town of Kent, Putnam County. The name was recently changed from "Ninham" to "Nimham" to correct a long standing spelling error.

The structure on Nimham Mt. is an 82' 6" International Derrick tower erected by CCC Camp P-135, Peekskill in 1940. The tower was first staffed in 1941 reporting 73 fires and 266 visitors. Nimham Tower can be found about 3 miles northwest of Carmel on the Nimham Mt. State Forest.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

This is one of only a few New York State towers that bears a manufacturers identification tag. It reads: "THE INTERNATIONAL DERRICK & EQUIPMENT Company (IDECO) Columbus, Ohio - Los Angeles."

This tower appears on the National Historic Lookout Register. Local volunteers organized by the Town of Kent began restoring the tower in the mid-1990's. Their work was completed in the spring of 2005 and the official dedication held on July 24, 2005. Their progress can be seen by clicking here.

Number Four Fire Tower

Number 4 Fire Tower - 1980 - A Bill Starr Photo Location: South of the Number Four Rd at Number Four.
Status: Removed.

The structure at Number Four was a 75' Aermotor LX25 tower, with ladders rather than stairs between the landings. It was purchased and erected by the Fisher Forestry Co. under the supervision of the Conservation Department in 1928. It was erected in the Town of Watson, Lewis Co and was owned and operated by the landowner until 1945 when the Conservation Department took over its operation. The ladders were replaced with conventional stairs about 1960.

The tower finally became property of the State in the late 1950's. The parcel of land, containing 4.3 acres, which including both the cabin and tower, was transferred from Fisher Forestry & Realty Co. to the State of New York in 1958. Up until that time, it was a privately owned tower, first operated by the landowner for ten years and then be the State for the remaining time.

The Conservation Department operated the tower until it's closure in early 1980's when it was dismantled and removed. The upper section of the tower has been erected at the Demonstration Forest adjacent to the Lowville DEC Office at Dadville.

The observer's cabin was moved to the Nick's Lake Campground in 1984 or 5. Nothing remains at the tower site except for the tower footers.

Number Seven Fire Tower

The first structure on Number Seven Hill - c. 1920 - NYS Archives Photo Location: 5 miles southeast of Averill Park.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Number Seven Hill was a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1922 which became operational in 1923. It was located on a hill identified as "Seven Hills" but the US Geological Survey, 5 miles northwest of Stephentown and 5 miles southeast of Averill Park.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season and has since been removed.

Oakdale Fire Tower

Oakdale Fire Tower - 1991 - A Larry Paul Photo Location:What is now Connetquot River State Park, 1/4 mile northwest of the park headquarters.
Status: Removed.

Oak Dale was a site used only temporarily in 1921. It was operated for only part of the 1921 season and reference to it appears only in the table of active fire towers but nowhere in the text or any other available documents.

However, an article in the Long Island Forum - July 1987 - entitled "The Fire Towers of Suffolk County" makes reference to a 92' tower that once existed on the South Side Sportsman's Club, now the Connetquot River State Park at Oak Dale.

The tower was used to release pheasants until a state law was passed which prohibited the practice. Some say this consisted of throwing or pushing the birds off the top of the tower so that the so-called "sportsmen" on the ground could shoot them. One has to question how sportsmanlike it is to take farm raised birds that have never flown more than a few feet and "release" them from the top of a 100 foot tower.

The tower was subsequently taken down and divided into two unequal sections. A 60' section was erected behind Wohlfarth's Gas Station on the Motor Parkway and Wheeler Road in Central Islip. A search of the archived payroll records showed that the State paid Bob Wohlfarth to operate the Central Islip Tower in April, May and June of '23 and Jack Wohlfarth for September and October of '23.

The other portion of the tower still existed in South Hauppauge as late as 1987. That portion is what is pictured here. This 20' section could be seen off an old dirt road just north of Motor Parkway about 1/4 mile east of Colonie Hill. The tower was unsafe to climb in 1980's but a good view of the northeast interior of Smithtown could be had from the base at that point in time.

Ohmer Mt. Fire Tower

Location: 10 miles northeast of the Village of Northville.
Status: Removed in the early 1900's.

The only structure on Ohmer was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in October 1911.

The tower was closed in 1916, as satisfactory arrangements could not be made for its continuance. A steel tower was constructed on Hadley Mt. in 1917 to replace Ohmer.

Overlook Mt. Fire Tower

Overlook Mt. Fire Tower - 2002 - A Warren Johnsen Photo Location: 3 miles north of Woodstock and Rt. 212.
Status: Remains and has been restored as part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project.

Overlook is a standard 60' Aermotor LS40 tower that was first erected on Gallis Hill in 1927. It was taken down by the Conservation Department and moved to this location in 1950. It's located about 3 1/4 miles north of Woodstock on New York State Forest Preserve lands in the Overlook Mt. Wild Forest.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower has been restored as a part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project and appears in the National Historic Lookout Register.

The tower is open to the public and is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

More can be learned about the restoration of Overlook Mt. by clicking here.

Owls Head Mt. Fire Tower

Owls Head Mt. Wooden Tower - c 1910 A NYS Archives PhotoOwls Head Mt. Fire Tower - 1973 - A Bob Eckler Photo












Location: 4 miles southwest of the Village of Long Lake.
Status: Restoration is under way.

The first structure on Owls Head was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in September 1911. In 1919 it was replace with a 35' standard Aermotor LS40 tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season.

The tower still remains, is being restored and is open to the public. It was added to the National Historic Lookout Register in 2006.

Owls Head is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Padlock Hill Fire Tower

Padlock Hill Fire Tower - 1973 - A Richard Eckler Photo Location: 12 miles southeast of Ithaca.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Padlock Hill was a 67' 6" International Derrick tower erected by the CCC Camp S-125, Slaterville Springs in 1940. The tower was first staffed in 1941 reporting 52 fires and 705 visitors.

This tower was closed in 1976 and sold at auction in 1977 to the landowner of the property on which it stood. In 1985, Padlock was donated to the State by the new owner. It was taken down and erected at the NYS Fairgrounds by Capt. Ed Pierce and the Region 7 Forest Rangers with the assistance from the local steel workers union and a local crane owner and operator. The tower is now a part of the permanent DEC exhibit at the New York State Fairgrounds.














Padlock Hill Circular Map and Alidade - A Paul Hartmann Photo

Palmer Hill Fire Tower

Palmer Hill Cabin & Tower - 1974 - A  Bob Eckler Photo Location: 2 miles north of the Hamlet of Au Sable Forks
Status: Remains on private property and is closed to the public.

A 60' Aermotor LS40 tower and observers cabin were erected by the Conservation Department in 1930 and operated for a portion of that season reporting 9 fires. This tower was intended to supplement Whiteface Mt. It is located in an area where early spring and late fall fires are a frequent occurrence, and because of the inability to operate Whiteface Mountain tower during those periods, the fires were frequently large in size before being reported by some other more remote tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed in early 1971 and was placed on the "Inactive" list but was reactivated in 1979. It was active until closing at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower still remains, is on private property and is closed to the public.

Page Pond Fire Tower

Page Pond Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 7 miles northwest of Deposit.
Status: Remains but is on private property and is closed to the public.

The structure on Page Pond is a 79' 6" International Derrick tower erected by the CCC's in 1935. The tower was first operated in 1936 reporting 12 fires and 29 visitors.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

This tower was transferred to the existing landowner, the Girl Scouts Indian Hills Council in June 1992. As the tower and other improvements are now private property, the site is no longer open or available to the public.

In 2007 the New York Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association began restoration work on both the tower and the cabin.

Penn Mt. Fire Tower

Penn Mt. Fire Tower - 1967 - A Fred Knauf Photo Location: 5 miles northwest of Remsen.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Penn was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1950. This tower was placed in service in 1951 reporting no fires and only 4 visitors.

This tower was closed in 1971. It was reopened briefly in 1974 to provide early detection to a concentrated area that suffered heavy wind damage near Forestport. It was again closed and subsequently removed in 1976.

Petersburg Mt. Fire Tower

Petersburg Mt. Fire Tower - 1953 - A NYS Photo Location: 3 3/4 miles southeast of Cobleskill.
Status: Removed and the site is closed to the public..

The structure on Petersburg was a 67' 6" International Derrick tower erected by CCC Camp S-93, Breakabean, in 1940. The tower was first staffed in 1941 reporting 7 fires and 223 visitors.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. The tower was transferred to Schoharie County for use as a radio tower sometime in the 1970's. The County removed the cab and added an additional 30’ to the tower in order to utilize it as an antenna support structure. The tower has recently been removed and replaced with a new antenna support structure. The site is closed to the public.

Pharaoh Mt. Fire Tower

The first structure on Pharaoh Mt. was a little more than a pole frame with a canvas tarp where the observer could get in out of the weather. Location: 5 miles east of Schroon Lake in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area.
Status: Removed.

When this observation station was established in April 1910, no tower was immediately erected, as an unobstructed view was available due to the lack of tree cover on the mountaintop. The first structure on Pharaoh Mt. was a little more than a pole frame with a canvas tarp where the observer could get in out of the weather.

There is no evidence that a tower was ever built on Pharaoh until 1918, when the Conservation Commission erected a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

This tower was closed in 1987. This structure was later removed because it was irreparably damaged by vandals and was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control.

The tower was then removed in 1992 because of vandalism (Click here to view a news article) and because it deemed a "non-conforming" structure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness Area.

Pillsbury Mt. Fire Tower

Pillsbury Mt. Fire Tower - 2002 - A Paul Laskey Photo Location: 9 miles northwest of Speculator.
Status: Remains and a group is waiting for approval to begin restoration.

The first structure on Pillsbury was a wooden tower erected by the Champlain Realty Co in 1918. By agreement, the landowner would provide an observer during periods of dry weather. It was considered a "secondary tower" by the State. In 1924 a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower was purchased and erected by the landowner. The new tower was operated as an observation station by the Conservation Commission.

This tower was closed about 1985. It still remains and can be accessed by the public. Pillsbury Mt. now appears on the National Historic Lookout Register.

Pillsbury has been adopted by a local chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association and awaits permission to begin restoration. Pillsbury is also one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Pine Creek Fire Tower

pine creek fire tower-2009-01-T.jpg - 165577 Bytes Location: On the Allegany Indian Reservation 3 miles southwest of the City of Salamanca.
Status: The tower still remains but is not accessible to by the public without the expressed permission of the Nation.

Pine Creek tower was erected by the Civilian Conservation Corps - Indian Division through the auspices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the New York Indian Agency. The Indian Division Camps were separate and distinct from the conventional CCC Camps that worked throughout the State. The Indian Division Camps performed various types of conservation work on reservations all across the county. It's believed that this was the only camp of its type in New York State.

The tower, erected about 1940, was a 54' Aermotor and is the only one of its manufacture and design in New York. Stenciling on the steel brace shows the location to were they tower was originally shipped.

Pocatello Mt. Fire Tower

Pocatello Fire Tower - 1930 - A New York State Photo Location: Southwest of Middletown on Sayers Hill.
Status: Removed in 1948.

A 60' Aermotor LS40 tower and observers cabin were erected by the Conservation Department in 1930. They were purchased with funds provided through popular subscription and county and town monies. It was erected here as the site affords needed protection to the entire eastern and southern slopes of the Shawangunk Mountain range.

Three years later in 1933, electricity was run to the tower to power a two-way radio that allowed the observer to talk with a Conservation Department airplane and a pickup truck equipped with a mobile radio as they patrolled the area. This first radio consisted of a 5-meter transmitter and receiver secured from the Radio Engineering Labs of Long Island City. The unit was assigned the identifier W10XBE and operated on a frequency of 62 megacycles.





The radio below on the left is purportedly the same model as the one installed in Pocatello Mt. in 1933. In 1939, radios like the one on the right, with state-of-the-art capabilities, were purchased to replace the 1933 models.

Pocatello Tower was dismantled and moved to Graham in 1948 where it still remains.

Poke-O-Moonshine Mt. Fire Tower

poke-o-moonshine mt cabins-1977-1(bob eckler)-T.jpg - 42324 Bytes Location: 7 miles south of Keeseville and west of I-87.
Status: Restored and open to the public.

The first structure on Poke-O-Moonshine was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1917 the wood tower replaced with a 35' Aermotor tower.


In 1919, the third generation of a device known as the Osborne Fire Finder had been developed by the US Forest Service. By means of this instrument, a panoramic map of the territory visible from a mountain station could be prepared. 1917 Osorne Firefinder - A Paul Hartmann Photo

This made it possible for an inexperienced observer to locate fires more accurately than by using ordinary topographic maps. The Osborne was first tried out at Poke-O-Moonshine Mt. during that same year and a map was made. It was considered so successful that in the years to follow the Osborne was carried up to each mountain station and a map made. This project took several years to complete.


Panoramic maps were ultimately provided to all towers to aid the observer in locating fires. This was a circular map with a panoramic sketch of the surrounding vista around the outside edge as can be seen in the photo below.

The inner portion was a topographic map with the tower location in the center. A sighting device called an "alidade" pivoted on a pin in the center of the map. Along the outer edge of the topographic map portion are azimuths that could be easily read by the observer once the alidade was sited on a possible fire.

The outermost edge of the map is the panorama or a sketch of what the observer could actually see from the mountain station.

While these were very helpful to the observer in locating a possible fire, there was a downside to the concept.

The diameter of the circular map was only 12 inches. This allowed the observer to do a reasonably good job of locating a fire within six miles of the station, but locating fires further distant was still difficult.

Vast areas of the Adirondacks and Catskills didn't appear on any stations maps requiring they use the previous methods of location. Triangulation, as a method of locating fires, didn't come in to its own until the 1940's.

Years later, use of a 30 inch diameter map was instituted that effectively did away with this problem but created another. The panoramic sketches that were so helpful to the new observer had to go.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

In 1994, a group known as the Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine was formed to save and restore the tower.

Poke-O-Moonshine appears on both the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places, being placed on the latter on Sept 28, 2001.

Poke-O-Moonshine is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Prattsburg Fire Tower

Prattsburg Fire Tower - 1973 - A Richard Eckler Photo Location: 2 miles northwest of the Village of Prattsburg.
Status: Removed in 1973.

A tower was purchased for this site in 1941 but was diverted to Sugar Hill by the local District Ranger.

The structure ultimately erected near Prattsburg in 1950 by the Conservation Department was an 80' standard LS40 Aermotor tower. It was on private land and was per an easement with the owner, a Mr. Harold G. Shults.

This, like many Southern Tier towers wasn't intended to be an extension of the close knit system of towers in the Adirondacks and Catskills but rather, most of these towers were located amidst large holdings on State Forest lands in order to protect those lands from fire. Additionally, the CCC's built many miles of truck trails and fire breaks and hundreds of water holes for better access, to prevent fire spread and to aid in extinguishment when fires occurred.

Many of these towers were only staffed on an as-needed basis by other Division of Lands and Forest personnel.

The tower was staffed only sporadically during its 30 years and, with the advent of aerial detection, was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower fell into a bad state of disrepair due to vandalism and was systematically dismantled and piled at the site by the Department in October 1973. Portions of the tower still remain at the site.

In May 1974 the Department executed a Release of Easement with a Mr. Girolmo, the new owner of the Prattsburg site, giving up all rights to the site.

Prospect Mt. Fire Tower

Prospect Mt. Tower -1980 - A Bill Starr Photo Location: West of the Village of Lake George.
Status: Removed.

The Forest, Fish & Game Commission, first established the 35' wooden fire observation tower in July 1910. Extensive repairs and a new roof were made to the old hotel building which is headquarters for the observer who used a cupola in the mountain top hotel for the observation station.

In 1932, a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower and observers cabin were erected by the Conservation Department replacing the previous arrangement.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season and later removed.

Red Hill Fire Tower

Red Hill Fire Tower - 2005 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: miles east of Claryville.
Status: Remains and has been restored as part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project.

The structure on Red Hill is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1920.

A new two-way radio was installed in this tower and licensed as W10XIE in 1938, and was only the second tower in New York State to be radio equipped.

This tower was closed in 1990 and was one of the last operating fire towers in New York State. It appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places, being placed there in Sept 28, 2001. It can be found 4 1/2 miles east of Claryville on New York State Forest Preserve Lands in the Sundown Wild Forest.

The tower has been restored and reopened on July 15, 2000 as a part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project. More information on the Red Hill Fire Tower Restoration project can be seen by clicking here.

Red Hill is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Red House Fire Tower

Location: Allegany State Park - On the hill behind the Administration Building at Red House
Status: Removed.

Very little is known about this fire tower other than it was one of two 30' steel tower erected by the Park in 1928. The other was erected on the western slope of Bova Mt. above the ski area and is described above.

Anyone who may have information or an actual photo of this tower is encouraged to contact the webmaster or ASP Forester Darrin Bierfeldt who's been instrumental in searching out much of the history of the Park's fire towers.

Rock Mt. Fire Tower

Location:3 miles southeast of Crystal Lake and the Number Four Road.
Status: Removed.

Rock Mt. Fire Tower was an early venture of major landowner and conservationist Clarence Fisher. Mr. Fisher saw a need for the tower to protect both his vast land holdings and the lands of others in the area. With Beaver Lake and Stillwater towers being some distance away, he had Rock Mt. erected in 1922, in cooperation with the then Conservation Commission, by a private contractor from Lowville, according to a news article in the Lowville Journal and Republican.

This would be a secondary station operated by Fisher Forestry during times on high fire danger. Six years later, Fisher purchased and erected a steel tower at Number Four which offered a far better view of the area, negating the need for the wooden tower on Rock Mt.

Rock Rift Fire Tower

Rock Rift Tower 2005 - A Warren Johnsen Photo Location: Tower Mt. about 2 miles northeast of the Hamlet of Rock Rift and north of the Cannonsville Reservoir.
Status: Still remains but is closed to the public.

The structure known as Rock Rift was a 72' 9" International Derrick E-4898 steel tower provided to the State of New York by the US Forest Service and erected by the CCC's in 1934. It is actually located on Tower Mt., elevation of 2382', about 2 miles northeast of the Hamlet of Rock Rift and north of the Cannonsville Reservoir.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service. This tower still remains on New York City reservoir lands but is closed to the public.

Roosa Gap Fire Tower

Roosa Gap Towr - 1974 - A Bob Eckler PhotoRoosa Gap Cabin - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 1 1/4 miles east of Summitville and US Rt. 209.
Status: remains on private land and is closed to the public.

The structure at Roosa Gap was a 35' standard Aermotor tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1948 in Sullivan Co on the Shawangunk Range near Summitville.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1972 season later sold. While the tower still remains, it is in private ownership and closed to the public.

Recently Roosa Gap became State property and what will happen to the tower will be determined by a management plan for the area.

St. Regis Mt. Fire Tower

St. Regis Mt. Fire Tower - A Bill Starr Photo Location: 4 miles south west of Paul Smiths.
Status: Remains but is in danger of being removed by the DEC.

When this observation station was established in April 1910, no tower was immediately erected, as an unobstructed view was available due to the lack of tree cover on the mountaintop. There is no evidence that a tower was ever built on St. Regis until 1918, when the Conservation Commission erected a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

In 1918 the State Conservation Commission purchased a new device known as the Osborne Fire Finder. With this, they developed new circular maps for each tower with a panoramic sketch of the view from the tower around the outside perimeter.

In the 1930's the Conservation Department experimented with two way radios to improve communications between its fire towers and forest rangers. The first radio ever used on St. Regis Mt. is pictured here. This should not be confused with a radio that is similar in make to the one first used, for this is the actual radio once used on St. Regis Mountain.

The tower was closed in 1990 and was one of the last operating fire towers in New York State and appears on the Nation Historic Lookout Register.

The tower was slated for removal in 2001 as it is a "non-conforming structure" within a St. Regis Canoe Area, but still remains. There is growing support to retain this and other towers that have been deemed "non-conforming" by the State Land Master Plan.

The Unit Management Plan for the St. Regis Canoe Area went through its initial review by the Adirondack Park Agency on Thursday, April 6, 2006. One of the provisions recommends that the tower be retained until such time as the Adirondack Park Agency considers whether the land surrounding it should be reclassified as an Historic Area.

From the minutes of the APA's May 11 -12, 2006 meeting, rather than reclassifying the land surrounding the tower, "the Agency unanimously adopted the revised draft resolution finding the St. Regis Canoe Area Unit Management Plan in conformance with the general guidelines and criteria of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, except with regard to final action on the St. Regis Fire tower, to be further clarified through a proposed comprehensive study of fire towers..."

It now appears that the Department of Environmental Conservation has one year from the date of adoption of this plan to develop a comprehensive plan for fire towers within the Adirondack Park. Should no such plan be developed or should a plan not meet the future approval of the APA, the St. Regis Fire Tower would be destine from removal in three years.

While this is not a solid win for tower preservation and restoration enthusiasts, it is a step in the right direction.

After a five year battle, on April 15, 2010 the Adirondack Park Agency has yielded to public pressure to allow both St. Regis and Hurricane Mountain Fire Towers to remain where they stand and amend the State Land Master Plan to recognize this decision. In addition, the Adirondack Council, who campaigned long and hard for their removal has indicated that it will not challenge the decision in the courts. To read of the decision click here.

St. Regis Mt. Fire Tower appears on both the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of History Places being placed on the latter in 2005. This development is viewed positively by the supporters of preserving the site. A "friends" group has been formed and is headed up by David Petrelli who can be contacted by clicking here or you can read about their efforts to save and restore the tower by clicking here.

St. Regis is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Salmon Lake Mt. Fire Tower

Salmon Lake Mt. Fire Tower - A Richard Eckler Photo Location: 10 miles north of the Village of Raquette Lake.
Status: Remains but is closed to the public.

Salmon Lake Mt. was a privately owned tower that cooperated with the Conservation Department towers during periods of high fire danger. The structure on Salmon Lake is a 35' Aermotor LX24 tower erected by Whitney Park about 1933.

The tower had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior of the structure for the purposes of ingress and egress.

The structure still remains, is in poor condition and is not open to the public.

Hours of intensive searching of numerous Internet sites relating to fire towers and forest fire prevention on both the state and national levels, as well as the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places, revealed that the structure on Salmon Lake Mt. is quite likely one of only a few remaining Aermotor LX24 design towers still standing in the United States.

Perhaps it is once again time to approach the landowner regarding restoring the tower before it is lost forever.

Sand Hill Fire Tower

Location: On the east side of State Rt 420, 5 miles south of Massena.
Status: Removed in 1959.

The structure on Sand Hill was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1949.

The tower was staffed only sporadically during its 10 years. This tower was closed and removed about 1959.

The cabin was moved to DEC's Brasher Falls Field Headquarters where it remains today and is used by Operations Unit personnel. All that remains at the tower site today are the concrete footers for the tower and cabin in amongst the pines.

Science Hill Fire Tower

Location:Southwest of the Bradford Entrance near the Pennsylvania border.
Status: Removed.

The tower on Science Hill was the 60' Aermotor LS40 tower that previously stood on Mt. Irvine. It was moved here by the Park in 1932 and, like the other Park towers, it was only staffed in times of high fire danger.

It remained at this site until 1978 when it was then taken down by Park personnel and reassembled by an Ellicottville BOCES class near their school.

Unfortunately, the only available picture is of the tower footers shown here. Anyone who may have an actual photo of tower when it stood on Science Hill is encouraged to contact the webmaster or ASP Forester Darrin Bierfeldt who's been instrumental in
searching out much of the history of the Park's fire towers.

Slide Mt. Fire Tower

Postcard of the Slide Mt. ObservatorySteel tower erected on Slide Mt. in the 1930's for sightseeing. Location: 6 1/2 miles southwest of Phoenicia.
Status: Removed about 1968.

The first structure on Slide was a wooden tower, but it is unclear as to whether it was erected by the Conservation Commission or if it previously existed. The tower on Slide Mt. was operational for just one year - 1912. The site was deemed unsuitable for fire detection purposes and closed. The tower was "officially" closed in 1916.

In 1934, a tower, purchased from State funds, was erected on Slide Mt. for observation purposes only. The 35' steel tower was never used for forest fire detection. Having fallen into a severely deteriorated condition, it was removed in 1968.

Snowy Mt. Fire Tower

Snowy Mt. Fire Tower - 1974 - A Rick Miller Photo Location: 7 miles southwest of Indian Lake and west of State Rt. 30.
Status: Has been restored by the DEC and is open to the public.

The first structure on Snowy was a wooden tower erected by the Forest, Fish & Game Commission in August 1909. In 1917 it was replaced with a 22' Aermotor LS40 tower.













In 1933, four additional flights of stairs were added to bring the height to 47' to get above the high growth attained by surrounding trees in the previous 15 years.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season. The tower appears on the National Register of Historic Places, being placed there Sept 23, 2001.

The DEC and local volunteers restored the tower in 2001.

Snowy is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Below, to the left, is a great vintage photo of Observer Alvin Mattison from the collection of Dan Locke. To the right is a postcard generated from the Locke photo. Postcards can be a great research tool as, in the instance of fire towers, most are made from actual photographs, even in the early 1900s.

Spruce Mt. Fire Tower

Spruce Mt. Fire Tower - 2002 - A Warren Johnsen Photo Location: 2 miles northwest of South Corinth.
Status: Remains but is no open to the public due to a land title dispute.

Through funds made available by the International Paper Company, the City of Amsterdam and Saratoga County; the 73' Aermotor LS40 tower was erected by the Conservation Department during the summer of 1928.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower still remains and is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Sterling Fire Tower

Sterling Tower - 2004 - A Bob Spear Photo Location: 2 miles south of the Hamlet of Greenwood Lake and between Sterling and Greenwood Lakes.
Status: Still remains but is no longer staffed on a regular basis and is locked up so no one can climb it.

The structure at Sterling is a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1922, which became operational in 1923. This tower is located on Rough Mt., about 2 miles south of the Hamlet of Greenwood Lake, on lands that recently became the Sterling Forest State Park, in the Town of Warwick, Orange County.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season and was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that fire towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

It had been held as a "stand by" tower until 1999 when it was put back into active service by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and now holds the distinction of being the only operating fire tower in New York State.

Sterling remained in active status through 2008 and, according to Park officials, will continue as an operational fire tower for the foreseeable future.

Pictured to the right is the Osborne Firefinder utilized for locating fires at Sterling. The Osborne is common in the New Jersey Forest Fire Service but is the only one to ever be used for fire location purposes in New York. The firefinder is on lone to Sterling from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service and the Forest Fire Lookout Association.

Sterling Fire Tower appears on the National Historic Lookout Register.





Stissing Mt. Fire Tower

CCC Camp members at the completion of Stissing Tower - c. 1933

Location: 2 mile west of Pine Plains.
Status: Still remains and is open to the public.

The structure on Stissing is a 79' 6" International Derrick E-4898 (c1932) tower, provided to the State of New York by the US Forest Service and erected by the Boston Corners CCC Camp in November and December of 1933. This tower was first staffed in 1935 and is found 2 miles west of Pine Plains on the Stissing Mountain State Forest.

This tower was first staffed in 1935 reporting 91 fire and 610 visitors.

The tower is on the northern shoulder of the mountain at 1370' and not on the summit. The summit is 1403'. This tower ceased operation sometime between 1979 and 82 but still remains, has been restored and is open to the public.

Stillwater Mt. Fire Tower

Stillwater Mt. Fire Tower - A Bill Starr PhotoLocation: West of the Stillwater Reservoir.
Status: Remains on private land and is closed to the public.

The first structure on Stillwater was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1919 it was replaced with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower that was purchased the previous year.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service. The tower still remains on the lands of International Paper Company but is closed to the public.

A group has formed and is in the early stages of rehabilitating both the trail and the tower. Once the work is completed the tower will be available to the public from the spring until the fall of each year.

Stoney Hill Fire Tower

Stoney Hill Fire Tower - Larry Paul Location: Stoney Hill Road- 1 mile north of Amagansett
Status: Removed.

Stoney Hill Tower, commonly referred to as Amagansett, was a standard 73' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1930. Funds for the purchase of this tower were provided by the Town of East Hampton and by private subscription. This tower became operational in 1931.

The tower was closed in 1959 when the Conservation Department withdrew from active participation in forest fire control activities on Long Island.

This structure was dismantled and removed in 1960 by a local demolition contractor.

Sugar Hill Fire Tower

Sugar Hill Fire Tower - 2002 -A Warren Johnsen Photo

Location: 7 miles west of Watkins Glen.
Status: Remains, has been restored and is open to the public.

In 1940 a tower was being secured for a site near Prattsburg. However, "the District Ranger wanted a tower on Sugar Hill hoping to see from one tower to the next and intersect fires in the Corning-Painted Post area" according to CCC Camp Monterey Superintendent Clarence Breckenridge. Consequently, the tower purchased for Prattsburg was diverted to this site.

The structure is a 67' 6" International Derrick tower erected by CCC's in 1941 on Sproul Hill, 2.5 miles NNW of the actual location of Sugar Hill. It was named, not for the hill on which it was erected, but for the reforestation area on which it is located.

This, like many Southern Tier towers wasn't intended to be an extension of the close knit system of towers in the Adirondacks and Catskills but rather, most of these towers were located amidst large holdings on State Forest lands in order to protect those lands from fire. Additionally, the CCC's built many miles of truck trails and fire breaks and hundreds of water holes for better access, to prevent fire spread and to aid in extinguishment when fires occurred.

Many of these towers were only staffed on an as-needed basis by other Division of Lands and Forest personnel.

The tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

Sugar Hill Observer's Cabin - 2004 - A Warren Johnsen Photo">It appears on the National Historic Lookout Register.

This, like many Southern Tier towers wasn't intended to be an extension of the close knit system of towers in the Adirondacks and Catskills but rather, most of these towers were located amidst large holdings on State Forest lands in order to protect those lands from fire. Additionally, the CCC's built many miles of truck trails and fire breaks and hundreds of water holes for better access, to prevent fire spread and to aid in extinguishment when fires occurred.

Many of these towers were only staffed on an as-needed basis by other Division of Lands and Forest personnel.

The tower still remains, is available to the public and is maintained by DEC Operations Unit in Region 8.

Summit Fire Tower

1928 Photo of Summit Fire Tower - Courtesy of the Allegany State Park Historical Society Location: On the Allegany State Park, 2 miles south of Salamanca.
Status: Remains and has been restored by the Allegany State Park Historical Society.

The structure on South Mountain, referred to as Summit, is a 60' standard LS40 Aermotor tower erected by the Allegany State Park Commission in 1926.

By the end of 1928, the park had five fire towers in operation and felt that all five, working together, would provide excellent coverage of the park property. The three primary towers were Mt. Irvine, Mt. Tuscarora and Summit. Two 30' steel towers were also put in place. One was on the hill behind the Administration Building at Red House and the other on the western slope of Bova Mt.

In 1931 the Bureau of Forest Fire Control took over operation of this tower, as well as several other State Park's towers elsewhere in the State.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season.

The Fire Tower Restoration Committee, a part of the Allegany State Park Historical Society was formed in 1999. The Summit Fire Tower Kiosk pictured below was dedicate in 2002.

Restoration efforts were completed in 2006 and its re-opening was celebrated on a snowy October 14th of that year.

Swancott Hill Fire Tower

Swancott Hill Fire Tower - 1973 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 10 miles northeast of Camden.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Swancott was a 99' 9" International Derrick tower erected by CCC Camp S-113, Camden in 1940. Its height made it the tallest tower ever erected in New York State. With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season and both the tower and cabin were sold and removed about ten years later.

Swede Mt. Fire Tower

Swede Mt. Fire Tower - 1980 - A Bill Starr Photo Location: South of State Rt. 8, 5 miles west of Hague.
Status: Remains on private lands and is currently closed to the public.

The first structure on Swede was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1918 it was replaced with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower still remains on International Paper Company lands and is closed to the public.

T Lake Mt. Fire Tower

T Lake Mt. Fire Tower - 1965 - From the Dean Lane Collection Location: 3 miles northwest of Piseco Lake.
Status: Removed.

In 1916 the Conservation Commission erected a 50' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress. Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919.

A self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower in 1931.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. This structure was removed because it was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and additionally was classified as a "non-conforming use" in the newly established West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area.

In 1977 the U. S. Army engineers were allowed to test shaped explosive charges on the fire tower which brought the tower crashing down. Within a few weeks the remains of the tower were flown out be helicopter.

Residents of Piseco Lake made several unsuccessful attempts and please to then DEC Commissioner Peter A. A. Berle to obtain the tower for air traffic control purposes at the Piseco Airport.

Telescope Hill Fire Tower

Telescope Hill Fire Tower - A Larry Paul Photo Location: Telescope Hill - 1 mile south of the Selden.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Telescope Hill was a 60' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1918 and was operational in 1919.

As World War II began, an additional cab was constructed within the tower framework and below the original cab. No additional height was added to the tower. The original cab was used by Civil Defense observers, while the lower, newly constructed, cab was used for fire spotting.

The tower was closed in 1959 when the Conservation Department withdrew from active participation in forest fire control activities on Long Island.

This structure was dismantled and removed in 1960 by a local demolition contractor.

Tomany Mt. Fire Tower

Tomany Mt. Fire Tower - 1929 - From the Bertha Slade Collection Location: 4 miles northwest of Arietta and west of State Rt. 30.
Status: Dismantled and scattered near the summit.

The first structure on Tomany Mt. was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in 1912. In 1916 the Conservation Commission erected a 50' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress. Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919.

A self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower in 1929, the same year the three photos appearing above were taken.

It should be noted that Orville served as the Observer on Tomany from 1929 to 1932 and then returned years later serve again from 1967 to 1970.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. This tower was later dismantled and the pieces scattered near the summit.

Tooley Pond Mt. Fire Tower (Cathedral Rock)

Tooley Pond Mt. Fire Tower at it's original site - A Bob McKinney Photo Location: 1/2 mile west of the Tooley Pond Rd, 3 1/2 miles not of Cook Corners.
Status: Removed to the Ranger School Forest in Wanakena.


The first structure on Tooley Pond was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in 1913. In 1919 it was replaced with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season.

Students from the New York State Ranger School at Wanakena dismantled the tower and re-erected it at Cathedral Rock on the Ranger School Forest. The project, under the direction of Professor Kerm Remele, took several years to complete but was well worth waiting for. The Tooley Pond Tower now located at Cathedral Rock is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of the 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Tremper Mt. Fire Tower

Tremper Mt. Fire Tower - 1973 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 2 miles southeast of Phoenicia.
Status: Remains and has been restored as part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project.

The structure on Tremper, a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower, was begun in late 1916 and completed in 1917 by the Conservation Commission. The tower on Tremper was built to replace the one previously on Slide Mt. It's located just 2 miles east of Phoenicia on New York State Forest Preserve lands in the Phoenicia-Mt. Tobias Wild Forest.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. The tower has been restored and reopened on June 9, 2001 as a part of the Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project.

It appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places, being placed on the latter in Sept 28, 2001. More can be learned about the restoration of Tremper Mt. Fire Tower by clicking here.

Tremper Mt. is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Mt. Tuscarora Fire Tower

Mt. Tuscarora Location:On Allegany State Park
Status: Remains but is in serious need of adoption and restoration.

In 1928 the Conservation Department's Division of State Parks erected a standard 60' Aermotor LS40 tower on Mt. Tuscarora on the southwest side of Quaker Run. When jurisdiction over several State Parks towers was transferred to Forest Fire Control in 1931, Mt. Tuscarora was not one of them. The Park retained jurisdiction and staffed the tower only in times of high fire danger.

By the end of 1928, the park had five fire towers in operation and felt that all five, working together, would provide excellent coverage of the park property. The three primary towers were Mt. Irvine, Mt. Tuscarora and Summit. Two 30' steel towers were also put in place. One was on the hill behind the Administration Building at Red House and the other on the western slope of Bova Mt.

Mt. Tuscarora still remains on-site today, but is in serious need of adoption and restoration.

Twadell Point Fire Tower

Twadell Point Fire Tower - 1910 - A NYS Photo Location: 1 1/2 mile north of the Hamlet of East Branch
Status: Remains but is closed to the public.

The first structure known as Twadell Pt. was a 45' modified windmill tower, purchased for $307.70 and erected by the Forest, Fish and Game Commission in May 1910. In 1919 it was replaced with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower. Twadell Point Fire Tower is on the summit of Twadell Mt., elevation of 2296' and is 1 1/2 miles northeast of the Hamlet of East Branch.

By 1916 each observation station included a cabin for the observers comfort. Previously, most were provided only tents for shelter. These original cabins were usually constructed of logs cut on site. Most were small and less than ideal. In the early 20’s a standard design would be developed.

This tower was closed at the end of the 1972 season and was sold to the landowner of the land on which it still stands. Though the tower still remains, it's on private land and is closed to the public.

Utsayantha Mt. Fire Tower

Utsayantha Restoration - 2004 - by Bob Eckler Location: 2 miles southeast of the Village of Stamford
Status: Restored and open to the public.

Four wooden different observation towers, built by the landowner Rulif W. Rulifson in 1892, 1895, 1901 and 1916, preceded the state tower and all were blown down by severe winds. None were used by the State for forest fire detection.

The first and only State structure on Utsayantha was a 59' 3" International Derrick tower erected by the CCC's in 1934. The tower was closed at the end of the 1989 season, making it one of the last operating fire towers in New York State.

Negotiations were completed in 2003 which allowed for the transfer ownership of the tower to the Village of Stamford. A group was formed in 2003 to take on restoration of the tower as well as all other improvements on the mountaintop site.

Restoration work began in 2004 and was completed in July of 2005 and a dedication held. Move can be learned by visiting the Mt. Utsayantha web site.

Vanderwhacker Mt. Fire Tower

Location: 4 miles west of Rt. 28 at Aiden Lair.
Status: Restored and is open to the public.

Vanderwhacker Mt. Fire Tower - 2000 - A Bill Starr PhotoThe first structure on Vanderwhacker was a wooden tower erected by the Conservation Commission in May 1911. In 1918 it was replaced with a 35' Aermotor LS40 tower.

This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

The tower still remains and is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Wakely Mt. Fire Tower

Wakely Mt. Fire Tower - 1994 - A Bill Starr Photo Location: 12 miles southwest of Indian Lake.
Status: Remains and is awaiting Adirondack Park Agency approval before any restoration work can begin.

The first structure on Wakely Mt. was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in May 1911. In 1916 it was replaced with a 70' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress.

Wooden steps were added within the structure to ease access for both the Observer and the general public in 1918 or 1919.

A self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower.


This tower ceased operation at the end of the 1988 season. The tower was officially closed in early 1989 when the Department of Environmental Conservation determined that towers were no longer effective and decided to phase them out of service.

This tower appears on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places being placed on the latter on November 3, 2003.

The tower and related facilities on Wakely Mountain have been closer to being saved. The current plan is to leave the Wakely Mountain Primitive Area in tack and to provide for restoration of the trail, fire tower, cabin and helipad and to install a radio repeater station solely for the use of the New York State forest rangers and environmental conservations officers.

Opponents of this plan are liking the radio installation to some of the TV antenna and cell-phone towers that are large and visually offensive to some. The following news release from the Forest Fire Lookout Assn. offers evidence to dispel these allegations and show that the installation has no visual impact.

A local chapter of the NFL has submitted an application the DEC to formally adopt and restore the cabin and tower.

Wakely is one of the mountains included in the Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."

Washburn Mt. Fire Tower

Washburn Mt. Fire Tower - A Larry Paul Photo Location: On private lands, 1 mile southeast of Copake Falls near the New York / Massachusetts border.
Status: Removed in 1964.

The tower on Washburn was previously on Alander Mountain. In August 1930, the Commission received a notice from Mr. William A. Miles, of Salisbury, Conn. terminating the lease to the part of his property currently being used as the site for the fire tower. In response to Mr. Miles notice, the Park had the tower dismantled by the end of the year.

The parts were placed in storage at High Valley Farm, the home of Commissioner Francis R. Masters, pending the possible relocation of the tower by the Conservation Department. It was not until 1932 that the Conservation Department agreed to accept the transfer of the tower from the Park Commission. The agreement stated that "the Commission would be glad to consider the transfer of the fire tower to the Conservation Department if the Conservation Department would agree to erect in within three months." In late 1932 the Conservation Department erected the 60" Aermotor tower on private lands on the summit of Washburn Mountain.

The tower would remain on Washburn until 1964 when it was moved to Beebe Hill, where it remains today.

Whiteface Mt. Fire Tower

Whiteface Mt. Observer's Cabin - c. 1916 - A NYS Archives Photo Location: East of Lake Placid.
Status: Removed to the Adirondack Museum.

When this observation station was established in July 1909, no tower was immediately erected, as an unobstructed view was available due to the lack of tree cover on the mountaintop.

All that was initially provided was a pole frame structure with a canvas tent stretched over it so that the observer could get in out of the weather. The shelter was later improved to a stone hut. Finally, in 1919, a steel 22' Aermotor tower was erected on the mountaintop.

In 1930, along with the memorial highway, a 46 foot memorial tower with a 60" revolving light was proposed to honor the Veterans of the World War. As time passed the proposal grew to major proportions. It was finally proposed through the legislative process that the tower be of stone and be 70 feet tall. The authorizing legislation was ultimately vetoed by Governor Legman, putting the memorial tower idea to rest.

With the completion of the memorial highway, there followed a rather lengthy dispute over which agency, the Conservation Department or the State highway Department, would have control over the fire tower on Whiteface. Governor Lehman finally stepped in the ruled in favor of the Conservation Department in June of 1935.

Following completion of the highway and the determination that there would be no memorial tower on Whiteface, the State completed the improvements on the mountaintop which included the Summit House and the tunnel and elevator in 1937.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. A year and a half later, on May 23, 1972, Whiteface was the first of many towers to be removed from Adirondack mountaintops. Some because they were deemed no longer necessary and others because they were considered "non-conforming structures" pursuant to the new Adirondack State Land Master Plan produced by the newly created Adirondack Park Agency.

On that date, Forest Rangers and Operations personnel dismantled the tower marking the pieces for possible future use. Rangers and Operations personnel then loaded the shorter pieces into the elevator but the longer steel struts and leg sections were carried down the rocky path to waiting trucks at the end of the Memorial Highway. The tower's historical sign remained on the mountaintop for another year, when it was removed and eventually donated along with the tower to the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mt Lake where both remain on display to this day.

West Mt. Fire Tower

West Mt. Fire Tower - 1973 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: 4 miles north of Raquette Lake in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness area.
Status: Removed.

The first structure on West was a 14' wooden tower. Whether it was erected by the Forest, Fish & Game Commission or was a remnant of the 1899 geographical survey of the Adirondack Region is unclear.

In 1920 it was replaced with a 47' Aermotor LS40 tower by the Conservation Commission. To move the steel from the railroad station in the Hamlet of Raquette Lake to the tower site the Commission hired a local woodsman and guide Billy Payne and his ox Tommy for the job.

Life was extremely difficult for the first observers who manned these stations. One such observer was William Wing Sanderson. Sanderson worked on West Mountain from August 12th, when it first opened, through October 10, 1909. During that time he kept a detailed diary of his daily activities. To read a transcription of the diary click here.

By 1916 each observation station included a cabin for the observers comfort. Previously, most were provided only tents for shelter. These original cabins were usually constructed of logs cut on site. Most were small and less than ideal. In the early 20's a standard design would be developed.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season. This structure was removed because it was deemed excess to the fire detection needs of the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and additionally was classified as a "non-conforming use" in the newly established Pigeon Lake Wilderness Area.

Portions of this tower and the Kempshall Mt. tower were used to erect the tower that now stands at the Essex County Historical Museum in Elizabethtown NY.

Whites Hill Fire Tower


Whites Hill Fire Tower - 1974 - A Bob Eckler Photo Location: On the west side of the Whites Hill Rd, 3 miles south of Parishville.
Status: Removed.

The structure on Whites Hill was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1950. This tower was placed in service in 1951 reporting 3 fires and 588 visitors.

With the advent of aerial detection, this tower was closed at the end of the 1971 season and later removed. The cabin was moved to DEC's Trout Lake Shop were it is used by Operations Unit personnel.

Woodhull Mt. Fire Tower

Location: 6 miles south of Old Forge.
Status: Remains and is open to the public except for the tower cab.

The first structure on Woodhull Mt. was a wooden tower constructed by the Conservation Commission in September 1911. In 1916 the Conservation Commission purchased and constructed a 50' Aermotor LL25 tower. It was of a lighter weight than their 1917 design and had no stairs but only a galvanized steel rung ladder up the exterior for the purpose of ingress and egress.

A wooden ladder was later added to the outside of the tower to make it somewhat safer for the observer and the public to gain access to the cab. In both vintage pictures below, you can see this wooden ladder and the safety cage enclosing it, also made of wood.

A self-supporting staircase was developed by Aermotor, for installation in the towers purchased in 1916. This staircase amounted to a tower within a tower and was anchored to the original tower. These were purchased to replace the wooden stairs currently in use and were installed in this tower in 1936.

The tower was closed at the end of the 1970 season when the DEC instituted a system of aerial wildfire detection. This tower still remains and is accessible to the public all but the tower cab.

Fire Tower Challenge sponsored by the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "To complete the Challenge and receive the official full-color patch, hikers must climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of the
23 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits."