Fire Tower Hikes

Discover historic fire towers

Historic fire tower hikes are a great way to go hiking in the Adirondacks while also exploring the history of our region. Fire tower hikes are especially fun for families and children, adding a unique element of discovery to your day of hiking. Once upon a time, the towers were used as lookouts to watch for forest fires. A number are still intact and offer great views for eager hikers. You can even get creative and have fun by challenging yourself to visit all of the fire towers in the Adirondacks! Do it in one vacation or keep coming back for more!

New for fall of 2023 is the hike up Buck Mountain, which features a restored, historic fire tower and amazing views of Little Tupper Lake and the surrounding peaks. Don't miss it!

Each hike is different, but one thing is consistent: being prepared is encouraged on every hike! 

A person smiling atop a firetower in the winter

Take the Fire Tower Challenge

There are seven Hamilton County fire towers:

  • Blue Mountain (Blue Mountain Lake)
  • Buck Mountain (Long Lake)
  • Makomis (Speculator)
  • Owls Head (Long Lake)
  • Pillsbury Mountain (Speculator)
  • Snowy Mountain (Indian Lake)
  • Wakely Mountain (Indian Lake)
  • Bonus tower: visit The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake and ascend the historic Whiteface Mountain Fire Tower! This one is a fun bonus without a strenuous hike!

All seven towers are open to the public (though the ADX requires paid admission). Please be careful when ascending the stairs.

To complete the challenge, you must climb these seven mountains, document the date, and fill out the online registration form to receive your patch. Climbing every tower is not required in order to receive your patch.

[insert firetower challenge here]

Download the Fire Tower Challenge Guide and Instructions.


If you are searching for summit hikes or paths to lakes and ponds, don't worry; we have plenty of those too!

Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK

By taking the Love Your Adirondacks Pledge and practicing Leave No Trace ethics you can help ensure that the forests, waterways, and communities of the Adirondacks remain beautiful and unique for generations to come.

Consider donating to the Hamilton County Trail Improvement Fund! This partnership with the DEC is an opportunity to improve trail conditions, possibly to some of our favorite fire tower peaks!

Route 28N
Newcomb, NY 12852
Goodnow is a very prominent peak when seen from Route 28N. This ragged-looking mountain is home to one of the remaining fire towers in the Adirondacks.
The view from the Goodnow Mountain firetower is one of the best in the Adirondacks.
Endion Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Owls Head Mountain is part of the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest, which covers an impressive approximate 45,000 acres. This rather prominent peak in the Long Lake area is made up of four separate summits, two of which are referred to as the horns.
The fire tower adds more scenic possibilities.
Rondaxe Road
Inlet, NY 13360
While not part of the Hamilton County Fire Tower Challenge, Bald Mountain is part of the Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge and is a great “bang for your buck” outing.
This is a fire tower hikes with an extra rocky ridge to walk on.
Cedar River Road
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Wakely Mountain’s 70-foot tower is one of the highest in New York state, and the tower stairs afford an excellent view of the West Canada Lakes Wilderness to the south and great views of the High Peaks to the north on clear days. 
The Wakely Mountain Firetower offers the best views from the wooded summit.
Lake Pleasant, NY 12108
Pillsbury Mountain is one of those peaks that has a spectacular, remote, backcountry feel. A maze of scenic backroads will get you there, but you need to take it slow as they can be very rough at times.
Route 30
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
For the better part of the last century, Blue Mountain has been one of the most frequently climbed Adirondack mountains. And for good reason! The striking view, with Blue Mountain Lake below, is very popular among locals and visitors alike.
Blue Mountain is near the center of many lakes.
Route 30
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Snowy is one of the more demanding hikes in Hamilton County and is also one of the 100 highest highest peaks in the Adirondacks. Its steep trail and rugged terrain will make you earn every bit of this mountain's elevation.
A wonderfully framed sunrise is the reward for a winter campout.
Green Lake Road
Arietta, NY ‎12139
In a quiet corner of the Adirondacks sits Kane Mountain. A 60-foot fire tower was constructed here in 1925, making it a very attractive destination.
State Route 30
Speculator, NY 12164
The historic Makomis fire tower has been relocated to the Sacandaga River Community Park in Speculator NY, and is now open to visitors. The tower will be open from dawn to dusk, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (weather permitting). And it's free!
Take a lovely stroll around Speculator and see the newly restored fire tower.
South Sabattis Road, County Route 10
Long Lake, NY 12847
In 1933, a fire tower on Buck Mountain was established on private lands between Long Lake and Tupper Lake.
From the tower cab on Buck Mountain looking toward Little Tupper Lake.