Catskills Fire Towers to be lit in honor of former workers

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ARKVILLE – To commemorate the men and women who surveyed for forest fires in the Catskill Park, the Catskill Center will conduct its eighth annual lighting of the Catskill Fire Towers on September 4 from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Each Labor Day weekend, Catskill Center volunteers and staff climb to one of the five backcountry Catskills fire towers – Balsam Lake, Hunter, Overlook, Red Hill, and Tremper – and, after dusk, illuminate the top cabs for about 30 minutes.

        “The forested land and local communities around the Catskills region are indebted to the work of the men and women wo surveyed for fires using maps and compasses before the most modern forms of technology,” said Olivia Bernard, Catskill Center Coordinator for the Catskill Fire Tower Project.

The tower lightings are part of an effort statewide. The New York State Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association helps make the event possible and has a list of the participating fire towers in the state. The rain date is Sunday, September 5 from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Suggested Fire Tower Viewing Locations:

BALSAM LAKE MOUNTAIN FIRE TOWER

1) Scenic Overlook at the top of Palmer Hill along State Route 28 between Margaretville and Andes

2) At the top of Todd Mt Road (Ulster County Route 49A) near the intersection with Kelly Road

3) Dingle Hill Andes – Drive along Ridge Road, stopping when possible to see the light.  Some of the sites where people have had luck in the past are 1212 Dingle Hill road, 629 Ridge Road and further down Ridge Road for a mile. (All are Andes addresses off of Rt 30 around the Pepacton Reservoir)

HUNTER MOUNTAIN FIRE TOWER

Gordon Realty on Route 23A in Hunter has granted permission in the past for viewers to use their parking lot for the “Lighting of the Towers” event.

Gordon Realty, Inc.

6528 Route 23A

Hunter, NY 12442

518-589-9000

OVERLOOK MOUNTAIN FIRE TOWER

1) Thorn Preserve 55 John Joy Road, Woodstock, NY 12498

2) Zena Corn Field

3) Zena School

RED HILL FIRE TOWER

1) The pull-off on top of the Rondout Reservoir – Merriman dam on Rt. 55 about 7 or 8 miles west of Ellenville.

2) The Claryville/Denning Rd. near the YMCA East Valley Farm.

3) Red Hill Knolls Rd.

4) Rudolph Rd.

5) Blue Hill Rd. west of Claryville

6) East side of Bridge over the Rondout Creek on Rt. 55A

7)Most of the Rt. 52 pull offs east of Ellenville on the way to Pine Bush

8) Mohonk Mt. House and Skytop Tower

MOUNT TREMPER FIRE TOWER

State Route 28 near the intersection of State Route 28A (be careful pulling off on the road to see the lights)