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A steep lollipop route.
Stissing Mountain protrudes beautifully from the middle of the Hudson Valley flats. Situated smack between The Catskills to the west and the Taconics to the east, Stissing’s fire tower offers superb views of both ranges.
Also on view are two large ponds below, Stissing and Thompson. Thompson Pond is a glacial kettle pond, a National Natural Landmark that’s home to more than 387 species of plants, 162 species of bird, and 27 types of mammals.
This whole area is special. Visit any time of year.
Wildlife is abundant on the mountain, which hunters enjoy, and there’s rich mixed forest all over. You may notice some American Chestnut rootstock hanging on, until a cure is found for the dreaded blight.
This short classic route to Stissing Mountain’s fire tower is do-able in an hour, or maybe a little more.
The route shown here is designated “classic” because a new, very fun trail is currently being constructed up Stissing’s steep southeastern slope. See Stissing from Thompson Pond.
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Stissing Mountain Classic Hiking Trail
The Stissing Fire Tower loop trail includes…
- Roadside parking
- A steep work-out climb
- Rich mixed forest
- A very tall fire tower
- Amazing views
Allow 60-75 minutes for this hike.
Stissing Mountain Hiking Trail Notes & Gallery
The short 30-40 minute hike to the fire tower is through forest that’s surprisingly rich in wildlife. You may see frogs, snakes, birds, gall wasp galls, even some coyote and bear sign.
Stissing Mountain Fire Tower
Most fire towers in the region are about 60 feet tall. Stissing Fire Tower is 50% taller. At a glorious 90 feet, you’ll definitely need a good head for heights. But the incredible 360° view from the cabin is worth the extra climb.
Here’s a look inside the fire tower cabin…
The tower is not near the summit, which you can see further to the south…
Stissing and Thompson ponds below…
To the north you can see Little Stissing too…
Stissing Pond seen in spring with the Taconics in the background…
That’s already a lot of mountains. But it goes on…
Kaaterskill High Peak is also prominent…
Descend the fire tower carefully and head back to your car.
But the hiking doesn’t have to stop there. If you have time, a very short drive or road-walk south brings you to the entrance of Thompson Pond Preserve for some easy, lovely pond and marsh walking.
For a more rugged route to the tower, see Stissing Mountain from Thompson Pond.
See my full list of fire tower hikes.
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The parent mountain for this hike is Stissing.
If you do this hike, LMK how it went…
Trailhead Info for this Hike
Smallish roadside lot.
Google Maps Location: 41.970014, -73.682353
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
Patchy down low but you’ll have service once you gain some elevation. My network is Verizon. YMMV.