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New York State Fire Towers

Dickinson Hill

Fire Tower


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Just east of Grafton Lakes State Park is Dickinson Hill Fire Tower.  Built in 1924 to monitor forest fires in order to protect Tomhannock Reservoir. Over the years the fire tower was neglected until the Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park agreed in 2010 to carry out the necessary work to restore the Tower so that it can be a permanent and publicly accessible feature of Grafton Lakes State Park. In May 2011 the restoration of the fire tower began and the Dickinson Hill Fire Tower officially reopened to the public on June 25, 2012.

Technically you can drive to the service road gate from the east via Fire Tower Road from County Route 87, however there is very limited parking on the narrow dirt road. The GPS coordinates of the service road gate is N42 47.710 W73 24.780 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle. It is better to park in the parking area along seasonal dirt North Long Pond Road just north of where the rough Fire Tower Road reaches the road.

You can either walk back down North Long Pond Road from the parking area or head toward Long Pond Trail, turn left and then another left on the Fire Tower Connector Trail.  Then it's straight up the rough section of Fire Tower Road for 1.2 miles before reaching the service road gate on your right. Then it's a final 750 feet up the service road to the fire tower. It's only a 257 foot elevation gain from North Long Pond Road, making this a pretty simple hike. There is a picnic table in the clearing near the tower. There are no views without climbing the sixty foot fire tower.

The cabin of the tower provides a spectacular view including the Adirondack Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Taconic Range that forms the border between New York and Massachusetts to the east and the Helderberg Mountains to the south and west. Look below for a few pictures and the trail map to Dickinson Hill Fire Tower as well as Grafton Lakes State Park.

Dickinson Hill Fire Tower

Looking through the cabin of the tower

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