2023 Catskill Fire Tower Challenge



NYS challenges you to hike each of the six fire towers in Catskill Park

2022 Catskill Fire Tower Challenge

DEC announced the 2023 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge, designed to highlight the world-class tourism destinations and recreational opportunities in New York's Hudson Valley. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, visitors are challenged to hike each of the six fire towers in Catskill Park and submit information about their visit at any time during the year to earn recognition and prizes.

The 2023 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge encourages experienced hikers to visit the region's five historic fire towers located on Balsam Lake Mountain (Hardenburgh), Hunter Mountain (Hunter), Overlook Mountain (Woodstock), Red Hill Mountain (Denning), and Tremper Mountain (Shandaken), as well as a new sixth fire tower that was opened in the Catskills in the fall of 2019. The Upper Esopus Fire Tower is located at the Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center in Mt. Tremper and allows all visitors who may not otherwise be able to undertake the challenging hike of several miles to experience a fire tower on the high peaks in the Catskills.

Participants are encouraged to practice Leave No TraceTM Principles and Love Our New York Lands by recreating safely and sustainably, hiking in suitable conditions based on weather and experience level.

New for 2023, finishers who have completed the challenge in multiple years will receive an additional commemorative Catskills Fire Tower Challenge prize.

Visit all six Catskill Fire Towers between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023. (You do not need to climb up to the cab. Cabs are only open when staffed by volunteers between Memorial Day and Columbus Day on weekends.).
  1. Overlook Mountain - Woodstock, NY
  2. Hunter Mountain - Hunter, NY
  3. Red Hill Mountain - Denning, NY
  4. Balsam Lake Mountain - Hardenburgh, NY
  5. Tremper Mountain - Shandaken, NY
  6. Upper Esopus - Mt. Tremper, NY
Fill out the log of completed hikes along with one favorite photo. This log can be completed via SurveyMonkey (leaves DEC Website) or can be downloaded and emailed (PDF) to catskillschallenge@dec.ny.gov. This can also be submitted via mail to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Outdoor Recreation, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1020. Entries must be postmarked by January 7, 2024.

The first 1,000 finishers will also receive a one-year subscription to DEC's Conservationist magazine.

To receive a bonus prize entry submit a photo showing yourself practicing Leave No Trace™ while participating in the Catskills Fire Tower Challenge (e.g., picking up litter, carrying out, planning and preparing for their hikes, staying on trail).

Limit one entry per person. You'll receive a commemorative patch and be entered to win great prizes. For complete rules, read here.

Completed? Congratulations! Download and print the certificate of completion (PDF).



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