*Please note: this fire tower is on private property (SUNY ESF Ranger School) and is currently closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Please respect property owner rights and save this hike for when it is appropriate to visit.
This fire tower used to be on Tooley Pond Mountain but was moved here by Ranger School Students in the mid 1900s. A NYS Ranger monument is located on a large erratic at the summit; the tower is right behind. The views from the tower are fantastic.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 30 in the Village of Tupper Lake, follow Route 3 toward Cranberry Lake. Follow Route 3 for 33.4 miles to CR61 (Wanakena Road) on the left. Follow here and make to lefts onto Ranger School Road. Follow this road down to Arboretum Road which bring you behind the Ranger School. Take the first left back to a large parking area by a field.
By the numbers
- Distance: 1.2 mile
- Elevation: 1,725 feet
- Ascent: 185 feet
From the parking area, locate the gravel, gated road and hike down this. Continue for a couple hundred feet to Latham trail on the right. ESF has marked the trail with black-and-white diamond shaped markers. Four times the Latham Trail will cross gravel roads; be sure to stay on the maintained footpath. This trail will pass through the campus forest and cross a few back roads that are used by the campus. Eventually the trail will come to a foot trail as it crosses the final road. From here the trail approached steep cliffs and swing around to the top of them to the left. Above here there are steep drop–offs. You will climb up a few stairs to another small cliff and swing back around to a small pavilion. Soon after the pavilion there is Tower Road which you will lead you to the tower.
This is a great introduction to snowshoeing hike. Most the gravel roads on property are unplowed, making them nice to ski or snowshoe. However, the final switchback should be avoided in winter. At the fourth road intersection, turn left and follow the road uphill for 0.2 miles. Then, take a right to find yourself on Tower Road, which leads right to the tower.