fire tower and cabin

The 6 Catskills Fire Towers

Everything you need to know about the five classic Catskills towers — plus the newest (sixth) addition. Includes links to the gear and maps you’ll need to hike safely.

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rock outcop

Thru-Hike Doubletop, Graham & Balsam Lake

This hike really has it all: stream crossings, herd paths, bear prints, a canister, a memorably steep descent, a true bushwhack, a rugged ascent, an ice grotto, some old ruins and, to top it all off, a fire tower with amazing sunset views.

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the cabin in woods

Balsam Lake Fire Tower

Even light snow cover turns Balsam Lake into a glittering winter wonderland. And it’s a cinch to hike. A cold fall morning is the perfect time to take in the fire tower’s incredible 360° view. Winter hikes to the tower are absolutely spectacular.

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trail junction

Trail Maintenance, Balsam Lake, Fall 2019

Finished my 2019 maintenance by tidying up a few things between the two junctions on the south side of Balsam Lake. When I first took on this trail section in the spring, it hadn’t been tended to in many years and was very overgrown.

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fire tower view across conifer forest

Graham Mountain & Balsam Lake Hiking Trail

This long day-hike combines Graham and a loop around Balsam Lake’s summit. Permission is required to hike on Graham Mountain.

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