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After a series of devastating forest fires in the Adirondacks in the early 1900s, New York state began utilizing forest fire detection stations all across New York State. These stations were managed by the NY DEC, Bureau of Forest Fire Control from 1909 until 1990. At first many towers were nothing more than wooden platforms, until the standard steel towers began being used. There were a total of 127 fire detection stations across the state.

A total of 110 steel towers were owned by NY DEC - Bureau of Forest Fire Control (DEC-FFC). Of the 110, 53 were removed over the years and 57 are still standing.  Nearly thirty are currently in some sort of restoration.  Five were relocated to another location. Many are available to climb and explore, especially in the Adirondacks. The ADK Fire Tower Challenge was created by one of the chapters of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) to popularize the hiking trails to many of the fire towers of the Adirondacks.

Look below for a list, sorted by county, of all the fire detection stations that were once being used by the DEC-FFC. We did not include any of the ten fire towers that were once in Suffolk County on Long Island. They have all been removed. There are also five fire towers that were privately owned that we did put on the main list below. Those were on Buck Mountain (Hamilton County), Meenagha Mountain (Franklin County), Mount Electra (Herkimer County), Rock Mountain (Lewis County) and Salmon Lake Mountain (Hamilton County). You can find a Google map of most of the active fire towers here courtesy of Will Fisher.

Remember that the fire towers on private property are just that, on PRIVATE PROPERTY.  Do not trespass in order to visit those fire towers.  You can find out more on the Adirondack and Catskill Fire Towers from the book Views From On High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills.


List of Fire Towers in New York State
Fire Tower Location County Summit Elevation Status of Fire Tower
Alma Hill Allegany 2548 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Jersey Hill Allegany 2240 feet REMOVED
Ingraham Hill Broome 1860 feet Radio/TV towers
Page Pond Hill Broome 2000 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Hatzfelt Hill Cattaraugus 2410 feet REMOVED
McCarty Hill Cattaraugus 2323 feet REMOVED
Summit Hill Cattaraugus 2385 feet REMAINS
Berry Hill Chenango 1960 feet REMAINS
Chenango Lake Chenango 1966 feet relocated to Brookfield
Lyon Mountain Clinton 3820 feet REMAINS
Palmer Hill Clinton 1148 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Alander Mountain Columbia 2240 feet Moved to Washburn Mountain
Beebe Hill Columbia 1726 feet REMAINS
Washburn Mountain Columbia 1542 feet Moved to Beebe Hill
Morgan Hill Cortland 2020 feet REMOVED in 1977
Bramley Mountain Delaware 2817 feet REMOVED
Rock Rift Delaware 2402 feet REMAINS
Twadell Point Delaware 2296 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Mount Utsayantha Delaware 3214 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Beacon Mountain Dutchess 1600 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Clove Mountain Dutchess 1400 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Stissing Mountain Dutchess 1370 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Mount Adams Essex 3250 feet REMAINS
Belfry Mountain Essex 1863 feet REMAINS (Radio Towers)
Boreas Mountain Essex 3776 feet REMOVED
Goodnow Mountain Essex 2690 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Hurricane Mountain Essex 3678 feet REMAINS
Makomis Mountain Essex 1663 feet REMOVED
Pharaoh Mountain Essex 2556 feet REMOVED
Poke-O-Moonshine Essex 2165 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Vanderwhacker Mountain Essex 3409 feet REMAINS
Whiteface Mountain Essex 4865 feet Moved to Adirondack Museum
Ampersand Mountain Franklin 3313 feet REMOVED
Azure Mountain Franklin 2500 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Debar Mountain Franklin 3300 feet REMOVED
Loon Lake Mountain Franklin 3320 feet REMAINS
Mount Morris Franklin 3136 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Saint Regis Mountain Franklin 2874 feet REMAINS
Kane Mountain Fulton 2200 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Hunter Mountain Greene 4040 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Blue Mountain Hamilton 3759 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Cathead Mountain Hamilton 2431 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Dunn Brook Mountain Hamilton 3605 feet REMOVED in 1919
Hamilton Mountain Hamilton 3238 feet REMOVED
Kempshall Mountain Hamilton 3346 feet REMOVED
Owls Head Mountain Hamilton 2812 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Pillsbury Mountain Hamilton 3597 feet REMAINS
Snowy Mountain Hamilton 3897 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
T-Lake Mountain Hamilton 3071 feet REMOVED
Tomany Mountain Hamilton 2579 feet REMOVED
Wakely Mountain Hamilton 3766 feet REMAINS
West Mountain Hamilton 2913 feet REMOVED
Beaver Lake Mountain Herkimer 1726 feet REMOVED
Dairy Hill Herkimer 1812 feet REMOVED
Fort Noble Mountain Herkimer 2338 feet REMOVED
Moose River Mountain Herkimer 2205 feet REMOVED
Penn Mountain Herkimer 1813 feet REMOVED
Rondaxe Mountain (Bald Mtn) Herkimer 2349 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Stillwater Mountain Herkimer 2267 feet on PRIVATE LAND
Woodhull Mountain Herkimer 2365 feet REMAINS (radio towers)
Bald Mountain Lewis 1640 feet REMOVED (the other Bald Mtn)
Gomer Hill Lewis 2120 feet REMAINS (radio towers)
New Boston Lewis 1643 feet Moved to Thompson Park in Watertown
Number Four Lewis 1540 feet Moved to Lowville DEC Demonstration area
Swancott Hill Lewis 1500 feet REMOVED
Brookfield Madison 1900 feet REMOVED
Morrow Mountain Madison 2142 feet REMOVED
Graham Mountain Orange 1300 feet REMAINS
Pocatello Mountain Orange 1020 feet Moved to Graham Mountain
Sterling Mountain Orange 1320 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Castor Hill Oswego 1560 feet REMOVED
Hooker Hill Otsego 2320 feet REMOVED
Ninham Mountain Putnam 1340 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Dickinson Hill Rensselaer 1760 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Number Seven Hill Rensselaer 2010 feet REMOVED
Jackie Jones Mountain Rockland 1260 feet REMAINS
Arab Mountain St Lawrence 2519 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Cat Mountain St Lawrence 2260 feet REMOVED
Catamount Mountain St Lawrence 1820 feet REMOVED
Moosehead Mountain St Lawrence 2060 feet REMOVED
Sand Hill St Lawrence 320 feet REMOVED
Tooley Pond Mountain St Lawrence 1782 feet Moved to Cathedral Rock
Whites Hill St Lawrence 1436 feet REMOVED
Cornell Hill Saratoga 420 feet Moved to Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
Hadley Mountain Saratoga 2680 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Ohmer Mountain Saratoga 2565 feet REMOVED in 1915
Spruce Mountain Saratoga 2009 feet REMAINS
Leonard Hill Schoharie 2620 feet needs restoration
Petersburg Mountain Schoharie 2320 feet REMOVED
Sugar Hill Schuyler 2090 feet REMAINS
Erwin Steuben 1710 feet REMOVED
Prattsburgh Steuben 2163 feet REMOVED
Chapin Hill Sullivan 1420 feet REMOVED
Roosa Gap Sullivan 1647 feet REMAINS (radio equipment)
Padlock Hill Tompkins 1900 feet Moved to NY State Fair in 1985
Balsam Lake Mountain Ulster 3720 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Belleayre Mountain Ulster 3375 feet REMOVED
Gallis Hill Ulster 780 feet Moved to Overlook Mountain
High Point Mountain Ulster 2200 feet REMOVED
Mohonk Mountain Ulster 1610 feet REMAINS (private resort)
Overlook Mountain Ulster 3120 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Red Hill Ulster 2980 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Slide Mountain Ulster 4180 feet REMOVED in 1915
Mount Tremper Ulster 2720 feet REMAINS & RESTORED
Crane Mountain Warren 3420 feet REMOVED
Gore Mountain Warren 3562 feet REMAINS (radio equipment)
Prospect Mountain Warren 2020 feet REMOVED
Swede Mountain Warren 1900 feet Possibly opening soon!!!
Black Mountain Washington 2640 feet REMAINS (radio equipment)
Colfax Mountain Washington 2267 feet REMAINS (radio equipment)
Cross River Mountain Westchester 800 feet REMOVED
Nelson Mountain Westchester 540 feet REMOVED

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Rondaxe Fire Tower on Bald Mountain in the Old Forge area of the Adirondacks

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