The 9th Annual Fire Tower Lighting event is scheduled for Saturday, September 3 from 9 to 9:30 p.m. and will include several fire towers in the Adirondacks and Catskills. On the evening of the event, volunteers will light fire tower cabs with high-powered lights, and invite people to visit locations where they could look up, see the light on the horizon, and pay homage to fire observers who would stand watch in the towers, protecting the community and surrounding forest.
Established in 2014, this statewide event is the brain child of Doug Hamilton of the Red Hill Fire Tower Committee, and is meant to showcase the history of fire towers around the state. They were erected in the early 20th century, as fires ravaged hundreds of thousands of square miles of wild forest.
The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 4, at the same time.
Viewing Sites: Click on the links below to see locations that can be seen from that fire tower.
This year’s participating towers:
Balsam Lake – Y – Visible from the Catskill Mountain Club Trailhead at Palmer Hill, near the corner of Todd Mt (UC Route 49A) and Kelly Road, and various locations along Cabin Hill Road and Ridge Road in Andes, NY.
Hunter – Y – Visible from Gordon Realty in Hunter and near the intersection of Route 23A and 214. Also visible from the Greene County Solid Waste station on Hylan Road.
Overlook – Y – Visible from the Thorn Preserve off Zena Road, State Route 28 near the intersection of State Route 212.
Red Hill – Y – Visible from various locations along Rudolph Road, Red Hill Knolls Road, and Blue Hill Road near Claryville. Also visible from the pull-off on the Rondout Reservoir, Merriman Dam.
Stissing – Y
Tremper – Y – Visible from the Ashokan Quarry Trail and near the intersection of Route 28 and 28A.
Utsayantha – Y
Arab – Y – Visible from various locations along Route 3, heading west from Tupper Lake.
Adams – Y – Visible from various locations along Tahawus Road in Newcomb.
Azure – Y
Bald Mt – Y
Belfry – Y
Berry Hill – Y
Blue Mountain Lake – Y
Cathedral Rock – Y
Cornell Hill – Y
Goodnow – Y
Hadley – Y
Hurricane – Y – Visible from Route 73 near the Village of Keene.
Kane – Y – Viewed from various lakes and camps.
Mt. Morris – Y
Owl’s Head – Y – Visible from Lake Eaton State Park beach and from the Mount Sabattis gazebo in Long Lake.
Page Pond – Y
Randall (fka Swancutt) – Y
Snowy – Y – Visible from Route 28 between Speculator and Indian Lake.
Speculator – Y
Spruce – Y
St. Regis – Y – Visible from Paul Smith’s VIC area.
Stillwater – Y
Swede – Y
Vanderwhacker – Y
Wakely – Y
Woodhull – Y
Photo at top: The 2019 fire tower lighting at Hurricane Mountain. Photo by Adirondack Explorer reporter Mike Lynch. CLICK HERE for a photo gallery of that event.
As we look skyward and pay homage to our dedicated fire tower Observers during this year’s 9th Fire Tower Lighting Observance, I would ask you to join me in also saluting the memory a distinguished forest ranger – Capt. Donald G. Perryman (ret.) who just passed from us on Aug. 10th.
Donald Perryman began his forest ranger career at Blue Mountain Lake in 1961. During the drought years of the 1960s, all fire towers, including the tower on Blue Mountain supervised by Don, were operational AND essential to forest rangers, both for reporting fires and also for relaying communications.
Let this year’s fire tower lighting also be an occasion to remember an outstanding forest ranger, a talented supervisor and a true friend. Rest in peace.