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ADK Fire Tower Challenge

Adventure. Stewardship. Community. These three words embody the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Fire Tower Challenge. Since 2001, thousands of people have been introduced to the Forest Preserve Parks—the Adirondack and Catskill Parks—through these historic mountain summits. Along the way, they have made friends, been inspired by incredible views, and learned about the importance of protecting public lands for future generations.

Taking the Challenge

To complete the Challenge and receive the official patch:

  1. Climb and document, by date, ascents of at least 23 fire tower summits: 18 of 27 Adirondack Park summits and all 5 Catskill Park summits. Climbing each tower is not required, nor is it recommended for those towers that need additional restoration measures for safe public use.
  2. Submit proof of stewardship as a part of your completion form. This can include a completed Leave No Trace 101 course, photos from a volunteer project that you attended, and other examples of public land stewardship including projects sponsored by our partner, the New York State Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association.
  3. Note that each mountain should have a standing fire tower on the date of your ascent.
  4. In addition to recording the dates of your climbs on the list provided, we hope you'll record the details of your hikes: your impressions, companions, weather, wildlife sightings, and whatever else merits your attention.
 
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To complete the winter version of the Fire Tower Challenge and receive the official "rocker” patch, challengers must complete their tower-trail hikes between December 21 and March 21, inclusive. Note that hikers should not climb the towers themselves between these dates. Fire towers are extremely unsafe in the winter--high winds can pose additional risks and stairs are often covered in ice and snow. Additionally, crampon spikes do irreparable damage to the wooden steps.

Before starting the challenge, ADK strongly encourages all participants to review the Leave No Trace guidance for hiking challenges, which was developed by ADK and Leave No Trace through funding support from the Adirondack Community Recreation Alliance.


The Fire Towers

Adirondack Park

  • Azure Mountain
  • Bald (Rondaxe) Mountain
  • Belfry Mountain
  • Black Mountain
  • Blue Mountain
  • Buck Mountain
  • Cathedral Rock
  • Goodnow Mountain***
  • Gore Mountain**
  • Hadley Mountain
  • Hurricane Mountain
  • Kane Mountain
  • Loon Lake Mountain***
  •  Lyon Mountain
  •  Mount Adams
  •  Mount Arab
  •  Owls Head Mountain
  •  Pillsbury Mountain
  •  Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain
  •  Snowy Mountain
  •  Spruce Mountain* ***
  •  Stillwater Mountain*
  •  St. Regis Mountain
  •  Swede Mountain*
  •  Vanderwacker Mountain
  •  Wakely Mountain
  •  Woodhull Mountain

Catskill Park

  • Balsam Lake Mountain
  • Hunter Mountain**
  • Overlook Mountain
  • Red Hill
  • Mount Tremper

*Closed during hunting season.

**Ascents using ski lifts do not count for these mountains.

***Fire tower cab closed.

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