Tremper Mountain Fire Tower from Willow

A much quieter and more interesting route to Tremper Mountain Fire Tower

Hike Length: 7.6 miles (12.23 km)

Total Ascent: 1,700ft (518m)

Intensity: Moderate Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail

Parent Tremper

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sunset view from Tremper Mountain fire tower

Tremper Mountain Fire Tower view

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 An easy-to-navigate out-and-back

Hiking Trail Description

This quiet route to Tremper Mountain Fire Tower is not much used, but it’s so much nicer than the classic route we all normally trod.

This is a great route for hiking solitude. If you’re worried about the rattlesnakes on the usual route up Tremper Mountain, this might be a better option — though I did have my first bear sighting on this hike. Details below.

Compare this route with the classic route to Tremper Mountain’s Fire Tower.

Willow Trailhead & Parking

Jessop Road is paved until close to the trailhead but the last few hundred feet are dirt road and very rough. Although I took it slowly, my car bounced around a fair bit due to large potholes. Especially after rain or snow, you’ll want to drive up here with AWD or 4WD, or at least in a car with a lot of clearance.

The medium-sized parking area is off-road, somewhat uphill. Keep an eye out for the large DEC/NYCEP trailhead sign on your left and head up.

There is no trail register.

The trail begins past a small gully that runs along the back of the lot.

Get ready for the cold / hike safe

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Video: Tremper Mountain Fire Tower View

A short look at Tremper Mountain’s fire tower and the amazing 360° view from its cabin. Plus one red eft.

Willow Hiking Trail to Tremper Mountain Fire Tower

Look for and follow the yellow blazes. This trail is immediately steep.

But also immediately lovely…

woodsy trail
Willow Trail

The first 1.6 miles to this route’s only junction takes some work, but there are no technical sections. It’s a straightforward walking route. Except for one patch of nettles and one…

Immediate Bear Sighting

About half-a-mile into this hike I had my first black bear sighting in The Catskills. It was a textbook interaction: by the time I saw the bear, he or she was already running away.

For about a minute, I’d heard something big moving in the woods to my right. I figured it might be a bear because it sounded large but it didn’t sound like a deer moving…

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Similar Hikes

This is a great route if you want some hiking solitude.

Check this list of the most scenic hikes.

And there are five more Catskills fire towers to choose from, all with excellent views.

Open these great reads in a new tab for later

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The parent mountain for this hike is Tremper.

If you do this hike, let me know how it went in the comments below. Your feedback makes this site better.

Trailhead Info for this Hike

Medium-sized lot slightly uphill from Jessup Road (which is quite rough in spots)

Google Maps Location: 42.077669, -74.243016

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

No service at trailhead but patchy service above the 1750’ contour My network is Verizon. YMMV.

Your comments are welcome here…

Hi, I’m Sean

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Winter Gear Checklist

The perfect quick reference to keep you safe on your next cold weather hike