“So, where are we going to hike next?”
Now that we’ve accomplished the Adirondack 46ers quest, we’re looking for other hiking trails in the area. Even though we’d love to summit the High Peaks again – and probably will revisit our favourites – we’re looking for new peaks to discover.
The Fire Tower Challenge is a compilation of 28 hiking trails found in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, each with a fire tower at the summit. These trails are achievable as short day hikes with rewarding views from the mountain top or tower.
During its heydays in the 1930 through 1950, thousands of fire towers were scattered across Canada and the United States.
The towers were manned by “fire spotters”, mountain hermits who lived where they worked, getting paid to sit and look at trees. In the solitude of the tower, they were responsible for keeping watch of the forest and protect it from fire.
These fire towers were soon forgotten when airplanes took over patrolling and protecting the wilderness. Today hundreds of fire towers remain with a few still in service.
The Adirondack Mountain Clubs (ADK) fire tower challenge is for everyone; family hikes with a lot to offer any time of year!
We hiked Hurricane in January a few years back. Winter hiking brings different challenges and that year there wasn’t much snow but lots of ice to contend with on the way up. Still a lot of fun, though we didn’t get a view.
Mount Arab is only one mile long with 760 ft. vertical gain, it’s a quick 45 minutes to the summit.
The cab atop the tower offers a 360° view of the surrounding hills and valleys. Inside the cab, there are panoramic photographs on the walls identifying the distant mountains. In the center is an Osborne Fire Finder, a device used to locate and identify the location of smoke.
Ginette was more comfortable below the cab which swayed in the wind, while Gordon waited for the sun to set.
We had the summit to ourselves, a quiet and romantic place on a balmy July evening.
In the fading light of the day, we turned for home.
On a clear day, the view from this 60 ft. fire tower is one of the best in the Adirondacks.
We’ve hiked three fire tower trails – let’s go for all of them!
Are you up for it?