Adirondack Fire Tower Mountains

St. Regis Mtn. 180 degree panorama

Links on the chart to topo maps by

Fire Tower photos page

Vintage Fire Tower photos page

Being on a mountaintop with a view is perhaps better than taking a scenic plane ride. From a fixed perch you can concentrate on what you're seeing and you can better feel the vastness and quiteness of the forest. And besides a breathless view you have a breathless hike.

Fire towers add a sense of human history to the mountain. Someone really lived out here and hiked up here every day? Seems amazing. Of course towers can also give great views and something more - a fear of heights, anyone? Test yourself by climbing Wakely Mtn. - at the eighth level you're about 80 feet up. If there's a breeze, you'll remember it.

Having hiked a few, I got curious about the rest, so here you have a list of 60 Adirondack Fire Tower Mountains. Three towers are just outside the park. I count thirty three towers still standing and maybe 15 of them safe enough to climb. But even where the towers have been removed or disabled, it is still a rewarding hike. I've been to 51 of these sites so far.

The list started with "The Recreational Map of the Adirondacks", hand drawn by Walter Bruhns in 1979. Then many were found listed in the standard trail guides - for example 19 are in Barbara McMartin's "50 Hikes in the Adirondacks" (third edition just out, highly recommended). Her Discover Series and the ADK trail and canoe guides were also used as references. But many changes have occured in the past decade, so current information is solicited.


Bob Berch

The Chart

If you print this page, the table will come out best in landscape orientation.

Caution! The topo maps often do not show the current or most recent trail, or whether the summit is accessable at all now or on private land.
Adirondack Fire Tower Mountains
Name Ht. ' mi. Ascent ' County Trailhead Access Codes Reference Map link
Lyon 3800 2.2 1920 Clinton Chazy Lake Rd. near NY 374 T,P+,V3 AN,J,F topo map
Palmer Hill 1146 .4 100 Clinton ~2 mi N of Au Sable Forks T,P,V2   topo map
Adams 3584 2.4 1800 Essex Tahawus Rd, off Rte 28N T,V4 AHP,F topo map
Belfry 1820 0.4 120 Essex Co. Rd 70, just N of Witherbee T,V4 AE,F,B topo map
Boreas 3776 4.5 2076 Essex Elk Lake Rd, 6 mi NE N. Hudson P M,AHP topo map
Goodnow 2685 1.9 1050 Essex Rte 28N, 11.4 mi E of Long Lake T,P+,V4 M,B topo map
Hurricane 3694 2.6 2000 Essex Rte 9N, 3.6 mi E Rte 73 T,SP,V4 AHP,B topo map
Makomis 1662 1.1 580 Essex Tracy Rd, .3 mi from US 9 & I-87 P,V3 AE topo map
Pharaoh 2557 2.8 1257 Essex Crane Pond Rd, 4 mi ESE Schroon Lake SW,V3 M,AE,F topo map
Poke-O-Moonshine 2170 1.2 1280 Essex Poke-O-Moonshine Campground, Rte 9 T,SF,V4 M,AE,B,N topo map
Vanderwhacker 3386 2.9 1700 Essex Moose Pond Rd, off 28N T,SF,V4 M,AC topo map
Whiteface 4872 5.2 3620 Essex Whiteface Mtn Hwy or trail fr L Placid C,D,SI,V4 AHP topo map
Ampersand 3965 2.8 1790 Franklin Rte 3, btwn Tupper L. & Saranac L SW,V4 M,AN,J,F topo map
Azure 2518 1.0 1000 Franklin Blue Mtn Rd, 15 mi NE Paul Smiths T,SF,V3 AN,J,F topo map
Debar 3305 3.7 1600 Franklin Rte 30 at Meacham Lake Campground SF,V3 M,AN,F topo map
Loon Lake 3355     Franklin Co Rt 99 [5 mi SE of Debar Mt] T,P   topo map
Meenahga 2092 0.5 422 Franklin bushwack N side of Rainbow Lake T,P,X   topo map
Mount Morris 3163 1.5   Franklin Rte 30 at Big Tupper Ski Area T,P,X J,AN topo map
St Regis 2882 3.4 1250 Franklin Keese Mills Rd, 2 mi W Paul Smiths T,SC,V4 M,AN,J,N topo map
Kane 2180 0.9 570 Fulton E or S trail, near inters Rts 10 & 29A T.SF,V4 AS,B,F,N topo map
Blue 3759 2.5 1560 Hamilton Rte. 30, in Blue Mtn. Lake T,P+,V4 M,AC,N topo map
Buck 2440     Hamilton   T,P,X S topo map
Cathead 2423 1.4 1100 Hamilton Northville-L Placid Trail Rd. T,P,X,V3 M,AS,B topo map
Hamilton 3250     Hamilton ~5 mi SE Lake Pleasant SW,X   topo map
Kempshall 3360 2.0 1700 Hamilton Northville-L Placid Trail N of Long Lake SW,V0 F topo map
Owl's Head 2748 3.1 1060 Hamilton Endion Rd, off Rte 30 at Long Lake T,SF,V3 M,B topo map
Pillsbury 3597 1.6 1600 Hamilton Jessup River Rd, off Rte 30, 5 mi N of Speculator T,SF,V4 M,AC,B topo map
Salmon Lake 2530     Hamilton   T,P,X S topo map
Snowy 3904 3.8 2100 Hamilton Rte 30, 7 mi S of Indian Lake T,SF,V3 M,AC,B topo map
T Lake 3070   1350 Hamilton Piseco Lake north shore SW,V0 M,AWC topo map
Tomany 2590 1.0 850 Hamilton Rte 10, 8 mi N of Rte 29A SF,V0 B,F topo map
Wakley 3744 3.2 1636 Hamilton Cedar River Rd, off Rte 28/30 T,SF,V4 M,AC topo map
West 2419 4.8 1100 Hamilton Raquette Lake Village or Sucker Brook Bay C,SW,V3 AWC,F topo map
Fort Noble 2338 1.5 850 Hamilton/
Rte 8, 7 mi E of Rte 365 SW,V0 B topo map
Bald (Rondaxe) 2350 1.0 390 Herkimer Rte. 28, 4.5 mi E of Old Forge T,V4 M,F,N topo map
Beaver Lake 1970     Herkimer bushwack 3 mi N from Moshier Falls SW   topo map
Dairy Hill 1812 0.1 50 Herkimer Observatory Rd, Town of Norway O,V0 B topo map
Electra 2318     Herkimer Partlow Sta., Adirondack RR SW S topo map
Moose River Mt. 2200     Herkimer 3 mi WNW Thendara SW,V0 AWC,F topo map
Stillwater 2264 1.2 560 Herkimer Stillwater-Big Moose Rd. T,P,V0 M,AWC topo map
Woodhull 2362 7.6 812 Herkimer park lot 1 mi E McKeever, off Rte 28 T,B,SF,V4 AWC,F topo map
Bald 1650     Lewis 10 mi SE Harrisville     topo map
Gomer Hill 2115     Lewis Gomer Hill Rd, ~10 mi S Lowville T,O,V0   topo map
Number 4 1632     Lewis Moved to DEC reserve in Lowville     topo map
Penn 1813     Oneida off Rte 12/28, 4 mi SW Alder Creek O,VO B topo map
Hadley 2680 2.0 1530 Saratoga Tower Rd, 6 mi NW Hadley T,V4 M,AS,B topo map
Spruce 2005 1.1 1003 Saratoga Wells Rd, 2 mi S of Corinth T,P,V4 AE topo map
Arab 2539 0.8 740 St Lawrence Mt Arab Rd, 2 mi S of Piercefield T,SF,V4 AN,J,N topo map
Cat 2261 5.1 775 St Lawrence Rte 3 at Wanakena C,SW,V3 AN,J topo map
Catamount 1830 1.3 400 St Lawrence Carry Falls Rd off Rte 56 near Stark P   topo map
Cathedral Rock 1700 .9 200 St Lawrence Wanakena Ranger School roads T,V4 B topo map
Moosehead 2070 1.0 470 St Lawrence Moosehead Mt Rd, Rte 3 near Rte 56 P,X J,AN topo map
Tooley Pond 1792 0.6 200 St Lawrence Tooley Rd, 5mi NW Cranberry Lake SF,V2   topo map
White Hill 1436 0.0 0 St Lawrence White Hill Rd, 4 mi SE Parishville P   topo map
Crane 3240 1.9 1300 Warren Garnet Lake Rd, off Rte 8 at Johnsburg SF,V3 M,AS,B topo map
Gore 3583     Warren Barton Mines Rd, off Rte 28, N River T,SI   topo map
Prospect 2041 1.7 1600 Warren Smith St, Lake George village or tollroad D,SI,V3 AE topo map
Swede 1904 0.6 250 Warren Rte 8, between 9 & 9N T,P,X AE topo map
Black 2646 2.5 1046 Washington Pike Brook Rd, 4 mi NW Whitehall T,SF,V3 M,AE topo map


Codes Views References
C = pos. canoe/hike V0 = none M = 50 Hikes in the Adirondacks by B. McMartin
D = drive up V1 = poor AC = ADK Central Region guide
O = outside Park V2 = OK AE = ADK Eastern Region guide
P = private land V3 = great AHP = ADK High Peaks guide
P+ = private but hiking trail OK V4 = 360 AN = ADK Northern guide
T = tower standing   AS = ADK Southern guide
X = no access   AWC = ADK West-Central guide
B = bike/hike   J = Adirondack Canoe Waters, N Flow by P. Jamieson
SC = state Canoe Area   B = me, see Firetower Notes
SF = state Wild Forest   F = Maggie's Firetower Page
SI = state Intensive Use   N = National Historic Lookout Register
SP = state Primitive Area S =  
SW = state Wilderness    

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by Bob Berch 1-1-2008