Fire Tower Hikes

Gary Fallesen

Fire Tower Hikes

Fire tower hikes:


By CHERYL ESPER
Chapter coordinator (2003-2008)

The Wakely Mountain fire tower (above) is one of the first steel towers erected by New York state. In 1915, 10 steel towers were purchased from the AerMotor Company of Chicago, a windmill manufacturer. Wakely was one of nine erected in 1916, the 10th was put up in 1917.

Access into the tower was originally achieved by use of only a ladder. Self-supporting stairs were retrofitted into these towers beginning in 1929. All fire towers bought after 1916 came equipped with factory installed stairs. 

Of these 10 only four remain standing today. Wakely is one of two that has not been structurally altered and is the only tower with the original ladder still attached. Wakely was the tallest of these towers standing at 70 feet to the floor.

On Aug. 31, the Esper family of Long Lake, N.Y., and the Delaney family of Gaylord, Mich., hiked to the Wakely tower as part of the back-to-school hiking series hosted by the chapter. Wakely Mountain, located near Indian Lake Village, is a six-mile hike, ascending 1,635 feetk. Wakely stands 3,744 feet tall.

  • For more information on Adirondack fire towers, read John P. Freeman's Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills (published by the Adirondack Mountain Club).
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