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!
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.
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!