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Adirondack Explorer

June, 2017

History Of The Stillwater Mt. Fire Tower

The famed surveyor Verplanck Colvin built the first tower on Stillwater Mountain way back in 1882. The hole that once held his copper marker is still visible on the summit bedrock. Colvin’s tower is long gone, but a steel fire tower built in 1919 still stands, and last week the state nominated the structure—along with the fire observer’s cabin and some other buildings—for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Click here to read the state’s application. The fifty-six-foot tower, which is on private land, has not been used for fire observation since 1988. However, it is open to >>More


October, 2010

APA votes to preserve towers

After years of debate and delay, the Adirondack Park Agency voted today to authorize the rehabilitation of dormant fire towers on St. Regis and Hurricane mountains. The APA board voted 9-0 to reclassify a half-acre under each tower as a Historic Area—an action that critics denounced as “spot zoning,” warning that it sets a bad precedent. The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan had called for removing the towers, but in the face of a public outcry, the APA agreed to amend the master plan to allow the towers to stay. The APA board expects that citizens groups will raise >>More


September, 2010

Fire tower’s outlook improves

The fire tower on Mount Adams offers one of the most breathtaking vistas in the Adirondacks, as can be seen in the above photo by Carl Heilman II. It shows the view to the northeast, including Algonquin, Colden, Marcy, and many other High Peaks. Unfortunately, the tower has been closed to the public since a wind storm blew off the cab’s roof a few years ago. With some luck and hard work, though, the tower may soon be reopened. The AdirondackHighpeaks Foundation has raised $5,000 to rehabilitate the tower. Besides replacing the roof, the nonprofit organization plans to install new >>More


February, 2010

DEC plans to remove two fire towers

In a controversial decision, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is recommending the removal of old fire towers on St. Regis Mountain and Hurricane Mountain. Environmental groups have argued that the towers should be removed because they are in areas that are managed, by and large, as Wilderness. The guidelines for managing Wilderness Areas require the removal of most man-made structures. Also, environmentalists point out that both summits offer wide-open views without the towers. Nevertheless, many local residents (and no doubt many visitors as well) want the towers to remain. They see the structures as reminders of the region’s history. >>More