Catskill Fire Tower Project

The Catskill Center helps manage five fire towers throughout the Catskill region. Historically more than a hundred towers, some built nearly a century ago, were used for early detection of forest fires throughout New York state.

Today, five towers remain in the Catskills and are maintained with assistance from a dedicated group of volunteers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

During the summer months volunteers open up tower cabins for visitors to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the region. If you're interested in volunteering please contact

The Five towers

Click tower name for detailed trail map.

  • Balsam Lake Mountain Town of Hardenburgh – Elevation 3,723′

    • Directions: Follow the blue-marked Dry Brook Ridge Trail located on Mill Brook Road outside the hamlet of Arkville--a moderate, six-mile, roundtrip hike.
  • Red Hill – Town of Denning – Elevation 2,990′

    • Directions: Follow the yellow-marked Red Hill Tower Trail from Coons Road (formerly Dinch Road) just outside of Claryville--a moderate, three-mile, roundtrip hike.
  • Tremper Mountain – Town of Shandaken – Elevation 2,740′

    • Directions: Follow the red-marked Phoenicia Trail located on Ulster County Route 40 just outside of Phoenicia--a moderate to difficult, six-mile, roundtrip hike.
  • Overlook Mountain – Town of Woodstock – Elevation 3,140′

    • Directions: Take the red-marked Overlook Spur Trail from Meads Mountain Road, just outside of downtown Woodstock--a moderate, six-mile, roundtrip hike.
  • Hunter Mountain – Town of Hunter – Elevation 4,040′

    • Directions: Take the Spruceton Trail, marked with blue disks, from Greene County Route 6 (Spruceton Hollow Road) in the hamlet of Spruceton. A seven-mile moderately difficult roundtrip hike. OR take the yellow-marked trail from the Hunter Mountain Sky Ride, open select summer weekends--a moderate four-mile roundtrip hike.