Stillwater Fire Tower

Stillwater Fire Tower Trail MarkerLast year, I completed the Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge. It consisted of 29 fire tower hikes in the Adirondacks and Catskills. This year, a new fire tower was just added to the list, Stillwater Fire Tower. Restored ad dedicated on July 2nd by the Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower. A volunteer group that worked with the NYSDEC to preserve and restore the tower. The Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of ADK Mountain Club added it as the 30th tower to the challenge. I finally had a free Saturday to make the long drive out to Big Moose, NY. Eager to see the tower and check out the trail.

I arrived at the trailhead around 10:30am. Parking is along the side of the road. There is a small three or four vehicle parking lot but it’s marked as handicapped.

After signing the log book, I began the 1-mile hike to the summit. The path was well maintained with log bridges over water areas and easy to navigate.  No other hiking trails intersect with this trail. There is an old dirt/grass road that you’ll cross twice as you get closer to the summit.

Summit of Stillwater Fire TowerArriving at the summit, there was a group of ladies just about to head down and another couple in the cabin. The summit is only a small clearing with enough room for the tower, a picnic table, and a couple benches. There are no views from the base. Trees surround the clearing blocking any summit views. Once the couple left, I made the climb up to the cabin. Inside the cabin is a map of the area with Stillwater Fire Tower in the middle. It even had an alidade.

I spent about 15 minutes in the cabin taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. The tops of the trees blocked the view to the north. But south, east and west views were wide open. When a few more people arrived at the summit, I headed back down. I ate a quick snack and took some more pictures from below.

The hike down the mountain was the same way in which I hiked up. Nothing exciting happened on the way down. I past a few people who were on their way up and thought about stuff. I remember thinking about how it had been three weeks since I had been out for a hike. How I had missed it and how therapeutic it had been.

Stillwater Fire Tower is a wonderful hike. The restoration of the tower was beautiful and the hike to the summit was easy. I wish it wasn’t 2.5-hour drive from my location. This would be a great mountain to combine a day trip to Bald Mountain. I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but I will be someday.

Photos of Stillwater Fire Tower

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).