A Walk In the Clouds at Overlook Mountain

Overlook MountainFor my second Catskill Fire Tower and my 19th Fire Tower Hike, I headed down to Overlook Mountain just outside Woodstock, NY. When I arrived at the trail head around 8:00 a.m. there were a couple cars already in the parking area. The parking area wasn’t to big, but could hold about 20 cars when packed in tight. After gathering my gear, I headed to the sign in book which was behind a metal gate and started up the trail.

The Overlook Mountain trail itself was an old jeep trail which made it wide and easy to navigate. It does have Timber Rattlesnakes and there are said to be plenty of them along the trail. I stuck to walking in the middle to avoid any surprises. A little less than two miles, I arrived at the Overlook Mountain House. It’s an old shell of a hotel and all that remains are the concrete walls. I chose to move past it and explore it on the way down. That’s a common theme with me, get the hard climbing done first and then explore on the way down.

Overlook Mountain HouseJust under 2.5 miles, I arrived at the summit where there is the Fire Tower Steward’s cabin and the Fire Tower itself. The cabin and tower were in good shape however there neither were open for me to see inside. I did climb to the top ledge however since I was in the clouds, all I could see is white. So I guess it turned out okay that I didn’t get a chance to go into the cabin, wouldn’t have seen much of a view anyways.

I spent a little time taking some photos and having lunch. I explored past the cabin as well where there would have been another view from a rock ledge but I didn’t see much. I was a little disappointed in the rock ledge though due to all the carvings of peoples name into the rocks.

On the hike down, I explored the Overlook Mountain House a bit. Being ever so mindful that there are Timber Rattlesnakes around, I cautiously made my way from building to building. It was spectacular to see it all, I would have loved to see how it looked when it was built.

The rest of the way down was uneventful. I ran into quite a few people that were just starting the hike and when I arrived at the trail head, every spot was taken. It was a good mountain and something I kind of would like to do again to see what the view would have been like. Hopefully I’ll get down there again.

Photos of Overlook Mountain

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Jonathan Volks

About The Author

Jonathan Volks is currently a Web Programmer at Skidmore College in Upstate New York. Where he maintains Skidmore's main website and builds custom web applications to support Marketing and Communications needs. In his free time, Jonathan likes to travel to the Adirondacks and hike along the thousands of miles of trails the park has to offer. He has completed the Fire Tower Challenge (30/30) and is currently working on the Saranac Lake 6er (2/6) and the 46 High Peaks (12/46).