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Old 06-19-2017, 10:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 64
Ground level views at fire tower summits

So I am doing the fire tower challenge. Only trouble is that I am not a big fan of heights so I don't actually climb the fire towers (being able to see through the steps to the bottom kills me). Yes I know, an odd trait for someone who climbs mountains.

I've done 8 so far: Hurricane, Goodnow, Hadley, Black, Belfry, Kane, Spruce and Cathedral Rock.

I was wondering which of the others had decent views without climbing the tower.

Successful ascents: 62 (45 different)
Fire tower challenge: 10/23
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:21 PM   #2
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Location: Rochester, NY
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Off the top of my head, Lyon, Bald, Azure, Snowy, Pokamoonshine, all have at least some good views outside the tower. There may be others I'm not thinking of, St Regis?
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2016
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It has been a long time since I climbed a lot of these but very roughly in order of best views 1st: St Regis, Owls Head, Gore, Bald, Azure, Snowy, Arab. Overlook in the Catskills.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5
Was looking for a way to take my mind off work at is what I came up with.

Arab Mountain - Good

Azure Mountain - Good

Bald Mountain - Good

Belfry Mountain - Some (and not overlooking wilderness if I remember right)

Black Mountain - Good

Blue Mountain - Good

Cathedral Rock - None? (one of the few I have not done - quick look online suggest none)

Goodnow Mountain - None

Gore Mountain - None at tower itself. Many places along the way.

Hadley Mountain - Great

Hurricane Mountain - Great

Kane Mountain - Some, particularly downhill from the old cabin.

Loon Lake Mountain - on my to-hike list

Lyon Mountain - Good

Mount Adams - ?? We're saving this for the final one.

Owls Head Mountain - Good

Pillsbury Mountain - Some? I didn't take pictures at the bottom. A good part is tree-lined, but there may be a one-direction view.

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain - Great

Saint Regis Mountain - Great

Snowy Mountain - Good

Spruce Mountain (refurbished July 2015) - ??

Stillwater Mountain (added in 2016) - None to minor - was there this spring and family was picnicking at base so I didn't stay at base long.

Vanderwhacker Mountain - None@tower. I remember lookouts along the way.

Wakely Mountain - None? Some lookouts here and there (Note: tower was recently closed)

Woodhull Mountain - None
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:20 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Rotterdam, NY
Posts: 27
Just did Loon Lake Mountain this past weekend, excellent views, and you cant even climb the tower! Like you, I too am afraid of heights and can only go up about 2/3 flights then sit on the platform so I don't panic too much. My wife on the other hand, climbs right to the top with no issue. There were even more views on the south side face but there was a snake sun bathing on that side so I quickly ran away. We are about half-way through the FT challenge, hope to see you out there!

Last edited by real3175; 07-04-2017 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:44 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 710
Blue mountain has views from the summit level? I've been up at least two times and I don't recall this. Did something change?

I don't think Wakely has any that I recall either. Last time I climbed it the tower was open, and super sketchy.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:07 PM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2017
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If you are doing the challenge, no need to care about the views, as views or no views, you will still have to complete the hikes. Savor what you can.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:35 PM   #8
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Posts: 189
If and when it reopens Wakely has a pretty decent view from the helipad just before you reach the actual tower.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:07 AM   #9
Bark Eater Too
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Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 170
Clarification: Gore doesn't technically have fire tower views any longer because of all sorts of EMF comm equipment mounted thereon and lots of warning signs not to trespass (I complied). There are AWESOME views from the tops of a couple of the ski runs nearby.

There are places where you can get partial views on Blue from ground level but certainly no 360.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:55 PM   #10
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by snav3 View Post
Off the top of my head, Lyon, Bald, Azure, Snowy, Pokamoonshine, all have at least some good views outside the tower. There may be others I'm not thinking of, St Regis?
Did St Regis today with a buddy. Views from ground level of the summit were breathtaking. Ranks up there as one of the best I've ever done.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.
Successful ascents: 62 (45 different)
Fire tower challenge: 10/23
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:47 PM   #11
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Location: Gloversville, NY
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ssabrian: I think some of the others missed the part of your post where you said view "from the ground". I have only done about 8 of the fire towers but can comment on the following ones:

Snowy: NO VIEW from the ground. You can't even see the tower until you are nearly on top of it. There are a few decent views just short of the summit though from overlooks.

Pillsbury: Not good. The trees have been cut in a swath in one direction, generally south if my mental compass is correct. But no view in the other directions.

Arab: Fair view from some overlooks that look south.

Like you, I am not fond of heights either but will venture about half way up the tower if there is screening around the stairs and occasionally I will go all the way to the cab provided you can get in it. If you are comfortable with climbing up a little, not necessarily all the way to the top, you can usually increase the view from the ground by leaps and bounds.
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