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At one time, New York state had more than 100 active fire towers, the purpose of which was to help lookouts spot fires. These days, some of the remaining towers have been repurposed for recreational use.
At Bramley Mountain, in the western Catskills, the fire tower was dismantled in the 1970s, but a local family has been keeping it safe in a nearby barn.
Now that Bramley has an official hiking trail, that tower is destined, once again, for the summit.
On a hike of Bramley Mountain, Laurie Rankin (the daughter of a fire tower lookout) tells us so much more — including the fact that working fire towers may be needed once again due to climate change…
This podcast is just 16 minutes long but packed with fantastic info on fire towers, their evolving uses, and history…
Kaatscast is a biweekly podcast delivering history, travel guides, arts & culture, outdoor adventures, sustainability news and local interviews from New York’s Catskill mountains and Hudson Valley. Celebrate the Catskills with Kaatscast!
The Bug Bite Thing
- To learn more about the Bramley fire tower project, head over to bramleymountainfiretower.org. And, BTW, donations to the project are 501c tax-deductible.
- Catskill Fire Towers — everything you need to know about the six current Catskills fire towers, including links to the resources you’ll need to hike safely.