If you like climbing mountains, engaging the public and want to spend time above the treetops, think about joining the Catskill Fire Tower Project as a Volunteer Interpreter this summer. The Catskills are home to five fully restored fire towers. Located on Balsam Lake Mountain (in Hardenburgh), Hunter Mountain (near Hunter), Overlook Mountain (just outside Woodstock), Red Hill (in Denning) and Mount Tremper (near Phoenicia).
The towers once played a key role in detecting and pinpointing the location of forest fires. Modern fire-spotting techniques have replaced them, but thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers who supplied everything from engineering expertise to building skills, the New York State Department DEC, and nonprofit groups including the Trail Conference, the Adirondack Mountain Club and the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the towers were all restored and reopened. Today, the towers offer visitors stunning 360-degree views of neighboring peaks and the surrounding landscape.
Volunteers work in pairs to meet and greet visitors and answer their questions about the towers, the Catskill Mountains, and related topics. Each volunteer works a minimum of three weekend days, plus a day or two of on-site training, during a season that runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The trails leading to the towers are all moderate hikes of one to three miles. Volunteers may hike in and out on the same day or stay overnight in summit cabins.
Volunteering for the Catskill Fire Tower Project is a fun and fulfilling way to meet people, share the experience of the beautiful Catskill Mountains, and help preserve a key piece of Catskills history.
For more information, visit the program’s website athttp://www.catskillfiretowers.org.
To volunteer for the Catskill Fire Tower project, visit our Volunteer Page and submit your information indicating your interest in Fire Towers.