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An Adirondack & Catskill Hiking Challenge: Hike 23 Fire Tower Peaks!

fire tower patch

You must summit 18 of the 25 Adirondack fire tower peaks and all 5 of the Catskills fire tower peaks, for a total of 23 Fire Tower mountains. Each mountain listed below should have a standing fire tower on the date of your ascent.

The Adirondack Mountain Club, which started this challenge in 2001, asks that in addition to recording the dates of your climbs that you take note of additional details like the weather and wildlife sightings.

fire tower
Spruce Mountain Fire Tower

Please note: Fire towers are extremely unsafe during the winter. Do not climb them if you are embarking on the Fire Tower Winter Challenge between the dates of December 21 and March 21.  

Adirondack Fire Towers:

Editor's note 08/25/21: The DEC has temporarily closed Moose Pond Club Road to motor vehicles due to unstable bridge conditions over Vanderwhacker Brook; this affects Vanderwhacker Mountain fire tower hike. A new bridge is being designed, and we'll update this page as we have more information.

In the meantime, if you are hiking Vanderwhacker: Park in the Route 28N highway pull off near the southeast corner of the Boreas River Bridge, known as the Boreas River Loop Trailhead North Parking Area. From there, hike, mountain bike, or ski to the Vanderwhacker Mountain trailhead.

Are you ready? The Fire Tower Challenge dares you to climb a total of 23 mountains crowned with vintage fire towers.

  • Adams - Elevation 3250'
  • Arab - Elevation 2546'
  • Azure - Elevation 2518'
  • Bald (Rondaxe) - Elevation 2350
  • Belfry - Elevation 1840'
  • Black - Elevation 2641'
  • Blue - Elevation 3750'
  • Cathedral - Elevation 1680'
  • Goodnow - Elevation 2690'
  • Gore - Elevation 3563'
  • Hadley - Elevation 2654'
  • Hurricane - Elevation 3678'
  • Kane - Elevation 2180'
  • Lyon - Elevation 3819'
  • Owls Head - Elevation 2812'
  • Pillsbury - Elevation 3597'
  • Poke-O-Moonshine - Elevation 2180'
  • Snowy - Elevation 3898'
  • Spruce - Elevation 2009'
  • St. Regis - Elevation 2874'
  • Vanderwhacker - Elevation 3389'
  • Wakely - Elevation 3744'
  • Woodhull - Elevation 2365'
couple in fire tower takes selfie with selfie stick

Catskill Fire Towers:

  • Balsam Lake - Elevation 3730'
  • Hunter - Elevation 4039'
  • Overlook - Elevation 3140'
  • Red Hill - Elevation 2914'
  • Tremper - Elevation 2724'

Submit your summit list, dates, any impressions, and $5 postage to the Adirondack Mountain Club:

Fire Tower Challenge
Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter Adirondack Mountain Club
P.O. Box 2314
Glens Falls, NY 12801

In return, Fire Tower Challenge members will receive their official patch and bragging rights! Please allow four to six weeks to receive your patch.

Fire tower couple photo provided by Pure Adirondacks: Vanderwhacker Mt. Fire Tower

Find out more from the Adirondack Mountain Club here: https://www.adk.org/play/earn-a-patch/fire-tower-challenge/

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