Adventure Lab® Spotlight: Catskill Fire Tower Challenge

When you want to go somewhere to see a beautiful view, there are some places that immediately jump to mind. Maybe you’ll head out to a geocache on a mountain peak that overlooks a lake, a skyscraper that gives a bird’s eye view of a city, or a hill that reveals a dazzling urban skyline. These are all great options, but if you’re a geocacher in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, there is a different type of location you’ll want to visit for an impressive vista. Instead of taking an elevator to the top of a building, you’ll put on your hiking shoes and climb up five different fire towers as you complete the Catskill Fire Tower Challenge Adventure.

Image by lasullivan444.

The five fire towers that make up this Adventure are holdovers from years ago when logging was a big industry in the region, making it vulnerable to forest fires. Observers would keep watch in more than 100 fire towers around New York State to look for smoke and flames. Today, only a handful of towers remain and the observers looking for smoke have been replaced by hikers who seek stunning 360-degree views of forests, hills, and mountains.

Completing this Adventure will require some planning. The fire towers are spread apart in different corners of the Catskills and each tower has a significant climb to make it to the lookout at the top. Considering these factors, it is recommended to take a couple days to complete the Adventure, and to make sure you have water, a trail map, and daylight when you head out to the different Locations. Adventurer al_gokey writes in their review of the Adventure that they were able to complete it over a weekend camping trip in the area and, though it was the hardest Adventure they’ve done so far, it was also their favorite.

Find your next Adventure. Have you downloaded the Adventure Lab® app and completed one? Share your most memorable Adventures in the comments!

Genevieve is a Marketing Associate at Geocaching HQ.