hunter mountain fire tower trailhead

New to the area, and have not connected with a new community of hikers yet. Perhaps five minutes after the bridge, you’ll see the remains of an old dam on your left. (And here’s a quick primer on Leave No Trace, too, to help us keep the trails nice and fresh for each other.). The Stoney Clove Parking Area is fairly large. Winter Mountain Hiking Gear: How to Survive & Thrive in the Catskills Cold, Catskill 3500 High Peaks List | Ultimate Peakbagging Guide. Thank you for such a thorough and fun description. (UPDATE June 2019: This bridge has been rebuilt since my visit. Have you done that hike before? The easiest route to get to Hunter’s Fire Tower — plus a more difficult descent, with an optional side quest to Southwest Hunter. Absolutely not! Hikes I would recommend for the beautiful views. you posted here. Or for a longer, tougher hike, you can hike down the far side and walk out via the Devil’s Path — with an optional side quest on the way to Southwest Hunter via an unmarked “herd path”. The 17. Colonel’s Chair refers to the 1.1-mile yellow-blazed path that connects the chair lift at the top of Hunter Mountain Ski Center to the Sprucetown Trail. Tremper will be easier. Bring a camera and high expectations, but you can leave your snowboard at home. After 2,000 feet of hiking up, you’ll reach the fire tower where you’ll enjoy incredible views of the surrounding region. Give this a shot (or just click the GPS coordinates below): GPS coordinates of parking area: 42.181825, -74.196879 (Clicking will open in Google Maps or the Apple Maps app, depending on your browser/device.). Going left will take you to the top of Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl. I stood by the cabin, using it as a wind break. In terms of difficulty, depending on how you choose to do it, this hike straddles the upper end of moderate and the lower end of difficult. Back on the trail, there are many wet spots on this side of Hunter Mountain. We ran across some hikers on their way down who reported that there was snow and ice near the summit and that we would need grippers. On this day, by 10:00 am it was already getting busy. 10. Having climbed all the mountains in the Catskills at least five times, I think I know the area pretty well. Even with the top of the tower closed this was one of the very few peaks with 360° views AND you’re looking down in every direction. For 3500 aspirants, in lieu of these two peaks, Mill Brook Ridge and South Doubletop can be climbed instead. Mount Tremper Fire Tower The DEC describes the tower: “This fire tower is believed to be the original structure built circa 1917, and used for fire observation until 1971. It’s also the longest of the five Catskill tower hikes at 7 miles round trip. Man, this beats pretty much anything else you could be doing today, doesn’t it? Thanks for the thoughtful response, Max! But Overlook has more warnings and more rattlesnake sightings (and rattlesnake skins at the ranger station up top), yet it’s the most popular hike near Woodstock. Haven’t made it up as far as the Adirondacks, but I am working on adding more Catskill hikes to the site. There are several other ways to get there, including a slightly gentler (and horse-accessible) 8-mile hike from the Spruceton Road trailhead, saving yourself around 300 vertical feet. Glad you made it down in one piece, and hope you got some nice pictures along the way! The Lookout, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places , is the last of four fire detection towers constructed in … Tremper experience isn’t recent, about eight or nine years ago, so I’d take what I have to say with a grain of salt. Apologies to this volunteer who was woken by my pacing around outside to keep warm. (I also got up before the crack of dawn and arrived at the trailhead just before daybreak, so if you wake up at a sane time, you’ll probably have more company up there.). From there, you can simply head back down the way you came. At approximately 4,040 feet (1,231 m) in elevation, it is the highest peak in the county and the second-highest peak in the Catskill Mountains. Remember this spot? 14. You could drive a parade float up to the bridge, don’t be fooled, this is a tough hike with a great payoff. YMMV. The tower! So if you pop this landmark into your device, it’ll take you just one mile from the trailhead, then you can head southwest on 214 to the pulloff described in “Directions to the trailhead” above. If you dig hiking, you have chosen a most excellent place to live. After 1.35 miles of steady descent, you’ll reach this junction. I’m kinda jealous, you have so many great spots to see for the first time. I had the best day and the climb was well worth it! From the signage, you can see that this is a loop trail – you can get to the tower going either left (.6 miles) or right (.35 miles). Thanks for the great review. Hello again, car! The next landmark is the well-marked junction with the Yellow Trail, about 10 minutes after the 3500’ marker. Much of the trail is very straight. I was chuckling, reading your comments about each waypoint! Yellow Mountain Fire Tower features some of the best views, looking out over both the Northern Georgia mountains as well as seeing the flat-lands of South Carolina past the mountain ranges. Follow the blue blazes. Hope you enjoyed your Hunter Mountain hike today! When people say the hike is relentless, they were not joking. Yea about that, it was a real butt kicker of a hike though. As the hiker climbs the tower, the trip up is uneventful until the steps carry one above the trees. Or just wear whatever you have already. 5. Apart from a few short and modest inclines, the hike out is almost exclusively downhill. We also didn’t eat lunch at the top which definitely speeds things up. (Make sure you’re not following the Yellow Trail off into the wild green yonder, which would happen if you visited the ledge view, then accidentally turned right onto the Yellow Trail. This trail is nice, especially along the bank of Hunter Brook, but I felt like I wasn’t missing too much. You shouldn’t feel too deprived if you can’t get all the way up there. Take a right turn here to visit a short yellow-blazed spur trail (one minute or less) to a ledge with a very nice view. A friend of mine who eats mountains for breakfast described the ascent of Hunter as “relentless.”  I agree with that assessment – if you tackle this hike, come prepared for the 2,200’+ vertical ascent, and the steep, rocky terrain. The views are partially obstructed, and we’re spoiled from the panorama at the tower, but this is still a great spot, right? Sort of. Keep your dog brightly-colored too, and on-leash at all times. I just did this hike on 10/31. Of course this only steeled our resolve to conquer this puny little 2 mile walk in the woods, but above the 3500′ mark we started to wonder if we were supposed to pack ropes and harnesses. 4. On your recommendation, I’ve added Mt. “No horses permitted beyond this point.”, This is the view from the junction / sign post, again in daylight hours…. 1. The 47-foot tower was placed in its present location because of the vast sections of forest preserve not visible from either the Hunter or Belleayre fire towers.” When you’re done checking out the view, return to the junction with the signpost from a few moments ago. Many thanks for bumping this one up the queue. Took me fifty minutes of huffing, puffing, and following the blue blazes to get to this sign from the old dam. About twelve minutes from the water pipe, keep an eye above the trees, to your left. Somewhere here (if you look at my GPS track) I managed to get off trail and ended up doing some proper bushwhacking. Here, you’ll follow the sign straight ahead, toward State Rd. Note: The hike detailed below shows you the shortest, steepest route to the top of Hunter Mountain. Maybe there are better Catskill views somewhere else. From here, no more turns or junctions to worry about! I have attached a picture here for you. The whole area lights up like a gold forge…. That's cool, too. Please read it before heading out into the wild green yonder, and let's hope that everyone will adhere to that guidance so that we can keep heading in the right direction in the Hudson Valley. Heavy rains day before trail slippery and muddy. In just a moment, you’ll notice a burbling brook down below, to your right. By: Lee Dudek, Interpreter at Pawtuckaway State Park After a year of renovation and rebuilding, the fire tower on Pawtuckaway’s South Mountain is once again open. The lower one has a birch tree growing on its side…. The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower is located on the summit of the eponymous mountain, second highest of the Catskill Mountains in the U.S. state of New York. From this junction, keep heading straight/right on the Blue Trail. Here’s your alternate route to Platte Clove. Hunter Mountain via Spruceton Horse Trail is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Hunter, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Did Tremper last year in pain with the torn Meniscus no snakes just a lot of rock hopping. It was the first of 23 fire lookout towers built by the state in the region, and the next-to-last of the five still standing to be abandoned. We were ill-equipped then and we were ill equipped today to tackle that kind of terrain. And thanks for the helpful details on this hike as well. The area was once logged by the Huntington's, and remains of their logging operations can still be seen on the mountain. Background you can feel free to skip: As I stood on the steps of the fire tower at Hunter Mountain, looking at the amazing panorama unfolding in all directions, I had two thoughts: 1)  Duuuuuuuude. There is no sign for Southwest Hunter, but the woods environment changes noticeably and abruptly, and you‘ll see a small cairn or two on the left side of the trail. It’s just short of the tallest summit in the region, second only to Slide Mountain (4,180 feet). Gratitudinal aside:  Thank you to Monique Quigley for posting this suggestion to the site’s Facebook page: You were right, Monique! An absolutely wonderful loop over Hunter’s massive, gorgeous and super-scenic summit. You’ve convinced me. Required fields are marked *. It’s probably fine, but I recommend slaking your thirst from the water you packed instead. It’s all downhill from here! Enjoy all the exploring! Good info……………so you made it up and down in three hours? With each step Just past the dam, let the relentlessness begin! Used this trail as an inaugural hike for my FastPath! After the lean-to, keep an eye out for a sharp right turn across a small dip. Long grueling uphill with no breaks. This trail is not the most rugged section of Devil’s Path, but it’s still a good deal rougher than the trail you took up to the fire tower. It is so helpful and useful and really well done. You’ll come back to this spot. You’ve definitely made it clear that this hike is definitely relentless and warrants a solid 9 in Difficulty, but those dang 2.35 miles on the trail sign are just way too tempting. It is 1.04 miles to the top of the ski lifts. This is part of the reason we turned back before getting to the summit today (wobbly legs helped seal the deal). Okay, let’s head back down. Continue via a short road walk back to the Hunter Mountain trailhead. The trip back down became another existential gut check, legs already rubber, footing slippery in the fall leaves, smaller rocks sliding and tumbling in the steeper sections, and the sun quickly setting behind the ridge to our backs. 42.181765, -74.196904 The Becker Hollow Trail is the shortest route up Hunter Mountain, but it is also the steepest, climbing about 2,000 feet in only 1.7 miles. At 4,040’, Hunter Mountain is the second-highest peak in the Catskills and one of the 35 peaks in the Catskill 3500 Club. The Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The views from Hunter are really exceptional. Really appreciate all the kind words! Return to the trail and turn right. Return to the junction behind the cabin. It’s a sharp right. Passed two sets of hikers coming down the trail, both turned around before making the summit. Exhale. The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace are an ethical framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors. See Miranda’s helpful comment below for a picture of the new-and-improved bridge, which is now large enough to serve as troll habitat.). Incredible. Instead, turn right and follow the red blazes of the Devil’s Path toward the Lean-To, South West Hunter and back toward Spruceton. Hunter Mountain has a peak that’s 4,040 feet in elevation. A mere 2.2 miles and 2,103 vertical feet back to your car. All of your descriptions of each hike have been spot on. Fortunately, I do not have serious injuries. Thanks so much for the kind words, and happy adventuring out there! Here’s how: winter hiking gear. Please leave a comment! Thanks for all the work you put in to this site. Increasingly spotty again as you descend. ClosureThe steep eastern side of Platte Clove Road is closed for the season. Best Trail Conditions LinksCurrent 3500 ConditionsCatskill Visitor Center ReportsDEC Backcountry Info. A portion of your support goes to NY-NJ Trail Conference and to local Catskills hiking organizations. And thanks for the warning about how early ice can form here — without micro-spikes or more serious traction devices, that could be a recipe for disaster. I really appreciate this comment. Hunter’s summit is enormous. The Vanderwhacker Mountain Fire Tower is located on the summit and is part of the ADK Fire Tower Challenge . Along the summit ridge, keep an eye on the left side of the trail for a short herd path leading into the woods. From the falls to the parking area takes 20-25 minutes. In the fall? This is a great post. Nice hike (I ran up/down) from Rt 214. Steep –and relentless indeed! A wonderful short to middle distance hike, Hadley Mountain is a perfect climb for any season in the Southern Adirondacks. There are no blazes or signs on this side-quest and it’s possible to wander off trail — so do not proceed with this part of the hike unless you’re completely confident with your ability to navigate your way out of trouble on a mountain. I guess I don’t remember all the rocks 50 years ago. Tremper is up next. Tremper – I mean, why not? Best wishes to you both on your continued adventures! 3. Note: at this time of year, Betelgeuse, Orion’s Belt and Rigel appear overhead quite clearly. It took me a while to work my way to the summit, but I made some nice discoveries along the way. The historic fire tower and cabin near the summit of Hunter Mountain (4040') on a frigid winter day - January 2009 Tahawus - May 17, 2009 7:33 pm - Hasn't voted Re: Not thats a cool tower and cabin. Awesome description and helpful photos here, as usual, and I was glad to have such a detailed write-up to prepare for a fast-paced hike on September 9. In daylight hours, with friends and stops for selfies, you might well allow 2-2½ hrs to get to the summit. When you’re done letting your eyeballs marinate in the view, head back down. Hunter Mountain: Hike to the fire tower - See 456 traveler reviews, 213 candid photos, and great deals for Hunter, NY, at Tripadvisor. Thanks for making my day, Miranda! I signed in and decided to snack and rest before the hike down to Diamond Notch. After reaching the summit so much ahead of dawn, I kicked myself for not bringing my tripod. To the left, the trail leads down the east side of Hunter via the very steep and rugged Devil’s Path to Stony Clove Notch. New York is currently open for dining, but there are restrictions. Last weekend we attempted Panther Mountain (Great Ledge) and it became very hairy toward the top with hard-packed snow and ice on some scrambles. We finally made it to the top and boy oh boy was it worth it! Tremper one of these days. 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