A Bird’s Eye View: Firetowers of the Hudson Valley

By Abigail Foster

Hiking is a popular pastime for those who enjoy being among nature and the Hudson Valley is an exceptional place to do it. From the Catskills to Bear Mountain, there are a multitude of trails that will lead wanderlust explorers through enchanting forests and to the occasional rocky cliff side where one can catch breathtaking views of the valley. If you are looking to add a little more adventure to your hike, some of these trails have a man made element that might peak your interest.

Scattered across the Hudson Valley are a number of decommissioned fire towers that stretch high above the treetops and allow you to see for miles in every direction. If the thought of being several stories high with nothing but a thin metal railing separating you from the open air doesn’t make you shake in your hiking boots, climbing some of the following towers will be the perfect adrenaline-pumping addition to your nature walk.

Overlook Mountain Fire Tower

Located in Woodstock, New York, this tower was built in 1927 and is 60 feet tall. From the top you can find beautiful views of the Ashokan Reservoir and Devil’s Path.

Hunter Mountain Fire Tower

This tower is located in the Catskill Forest Preserve in Spruceton, New York, and is also 60 feet tall. The tower has been around for just over one hundred years, and stands on the highest elevation point of all the fire towers in New York, at 4,040 feet.

Ferncliff Fire Tower

Located in Rhinebeck, New York, this tower is approximately 80 feet high. Sitting just 15 minutes from the parking lot, this tower offers views of the Hudson River, the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge and the Catskill Mountains.

Stissing Mountain Fire Tower

This is the tallest listed tower, at around 86 feet high. Located on top of Stissing Mountain in Pine Plains, New York, this tower allows for panoramic views of Stissing Lake and neighboring states Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey.


A version of this originally appeared in “Comfort” The Teller November 2019 Issue #8

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