Labor Day weekend offers a perfect socially distanced outdoor activity – the annual nighttime lighting of Hurricane Fire Tower.
People are invited to hike up and see the lighting at close range, or view it from afar.
A lantern beacon will shine out from the 101-year-old tower at 9 pm on Saturday, Sept. 5, and can be spotted for miles around.
Hurricane Mountain – visible from many spots in Keene and Elizabethtown, to Lake Champlain and Vermont, as well as surrounding smaller peaks – was a key survey peak for legendary Adirondack surveyor Verplanck Colvin.
Friends of Hurricane will be joining the 7th Annual Lighting of the Fire Towers event, which originated with the five Catskill Mountain fire towers that are still standing.
Other fire towers in the High Peaks region are also participating, including St. Regis and Goodnow. This year several towers will be participating statewide. For the full list, go to http://nysffla.org/light.html. The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 6.
This event is meant to showcase the history of fire towers around the state. They were erected early in the 20th Century, as fires ravaged hundreds of thousands of square miles of wild forest.
In 1914, before there was even a tower on Hurricane, the observer there reported 43 fires, close to 10 percent of all fires reported in the state that year. More than 25 observers worked on Hurricane tower between 1919 and the 1970s, when it was closed.
The Friends of Hurricane have worked with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to repair and restore the tower, which was reopened for public access in 2015. A new roof was installed last year.
A summit steward is on the peak five days a week this summer, and will be up there for the lighting as well.
For more information, or to join the party, please contact [email protected].
Photo of last year’s fire tower lighting at Hurricane Mountain by Mike Lynch/Adirondack Explorer. CLICK HERE for a photo gallery of that event.