The town of Shandaken comprises 12 hamlets with unique neighborhoods, including Phoenicia and Pine Hill. It’s also home to Belleayre Mountain, a four-season ski resort.
The Catskill Center, through the Catskill Fire Tower Project and in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) manages the six fire towers in the Catskill Park for public access and interpretation. Historically more than a hundred towers, some built nearly a century ago, were used for early detection of forest fires throughout New York state because of their extensive views of the surrounding countryside.
Today, six towers reside in the Catskill Park and are maintained with assistance from a dedicated group of volunteers and the DEC.
During the summer months our Catskill Fire Tower Project volunteers open up the tower cabs on weekends for visitors to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the region. Volunteers are generally present on weekends between Memorial Day and Columbus Day with the cabs open between 10am and 4pm. You should also check the signage at the trailhead to ensure that a cab will be open and staffed before you start your hike.
The five towers located on mountain summits make for some of the best hiking destinations in the Catskills, offering unparalleled 360-degree views of the surrounding Catskill Park and mountains. They are well worth the time and effort it takes to hike to each tower. The sixth tower, located on the grounds of the Catskills Visitor Center offers visitors who don't have the time or the ability to climb a mountain peak, the opportunity to experience a Catskills Fire Tower!
If you're interested in volunteering on the Catskill Fire Tower Project, please complete our volunteer form. Looking for hiking maps, guides and info on the Fire Towers? Pick up a map or a guidebook from the Catskills Visitor Center! Then be sure to read on for our guides to each tower!
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