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Taken On the Hamilton County Fire Tower Challenge

The Hamilton County Fire Tower Challenge invites you to hike several towers in Hamilton County. 

Take the Challenge, Experience Historic Adirondack Fire Towers

fire tower, gray skies

Blue Mountain Fire Tower, Photo credit: Guillaume Capron, licensed by CC By-SA 2.0

You can find an overview of each fire tower hike below, followed by a link to the challenge registration for more information.

Starting in 2023, an additional fire tower is expected to be added to the challenge with Buck Mountain.

The Fire Tower Hikes

Adirondack Experience Museum
22 feet tall

Note, this is the only hike on the list that requires an entrance fee, at the Adirondack Experience Museum. It is considered a bonus for this challenge. This tower was originally constructed on Whiteface Mountain in 1919, and then it was dismantled in 1972, and given to the Museum in 1973. It was re-erected in 1974. Climb to the top to view most of the Museum's campus.

Blue Mountain Fire Tower3,760 feet elevation
35 feet tall

Blue Mountain Fire tower is one of the most popular fire tower hikes in the Adirondacks, with the original tower dating back to 1911; it was replaced in 1917. The trail is 2.2 miles long with a 1,550 foot elevation gain.

Owls Head Mountain Tower
35 feet tall
2,748 feet elevation

The tower on Owls Head Mountain also dates back to 1911, but was replaced in 1919, then closed in 1970. It remains open to hikers. The trail is 3.1 miles long with a 1,114 foot elevation gain. It's considered a relatively difficult hike.

Makomis Mountain Tower
48 feet tall
1,631 feet elevation

The Makomis Mountain Tower is considered an easy hike, and one of the most accessible fire towers in the Adirondacks. This tower was originally a wooden structure built near North Hudson in 1911 and was replaced by a steel structure in 1916.

Pillsbury Mountain Tower
60 feet tall
3,597 feet elevation

While the tower is open to climb, the cab is closed to the public on the Pillsbury Mountain Tower. The original tower was constructed in 1918 out of wood, and was then changed to steel in 1924. The trail is 1.6 miles long with a 1,480 foot elevation gain. The end stretch of the hike before the summit is extremely steep.

Snowy Mountain Tower
42 feet tall
3,899 feet elevation

Snowy Mountain Tower was first erected in 1909, then replaced with steel in 1917. The height of the tower was increased in 1933, to make it taller than the surrounding trees. The trail is 3.4 miles long with a 2,100 feet elevation gain.

Wakely Mountain Tower
70 feet tall
3,744 feet

The Wakely Mountain Tower was created in 1911 and replaced in 1916; with the revamped tower, it became the tallest tower in the Adirondack Park. Operations ceased in 1988. The trail is 3 miles long with a 1,600 foot elevation gain. 

This hiking challenge was created by Hamilton County Tourism. 

You can find more information on each fire tower hike and how to send in your registration here:

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