Blue Mt. Lake and Lake George, NY—July 7, 2018–ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club), a leading nonprofit committed to environmental advocacy and ethical outdoor recreation throughout New York, and Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), is sponsoring a celebration of fire towers and the people who restore and maintain them. The “fever” referenced in the title refers to the sweeping enthusiasm that helped prompt the restoration of numerous towers and their trails across the last twenty-five years—and continues to do so.
Fire Tower Fever, a family-friendly event held on July 14, 2018, at Adirondack Experience, starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. In between, the day offers presentations, anecdotes from volunteers involved in tower restorations, book signings, guided hikes, an introduction to the ADK Fire Tower Challenge, and Smokey Bear-themed scavenger hunts.
Views From On High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondack and Catskills, now in its second edition, is the focus of the book signing. Co-editors John P. (Jack) Freeman and Jim Schneider will be present, as will Jacob C. (Jake) Wilde. Hiker and tower enthusiast Wilde contributed a chapter titled Beyond the Blue Line that describes thirteen additional fire towers, three of them demonstration towers. One demonstration tower, formerly located atop Whiteface Mt., now stands at Adirondack Experience and is open to the public.
Guided hikes will include strolls to Adirondack Experience’s on-site display tower, which can be ascended (11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m), and two morning hikes up Blue Mt. To register for the event, including the Blue Mt. hikes, call 518-668-4447, Mon.–Sat., 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Registration has been extended to Wednesday, July 11.
Views From On High enables hikers, history buffs, and other fond of Adirondack and Catskill trails to visit and learn about 30 historic fire towers. Detailed trail descriptions are accompanied by color photos and maps as well as an essay about Adirondack and Catskill fire towers written by historic preservationist Wesley H. Haynes. In the latter, Haynes notes, “Fire towers enabled our forebears to literally see the forest through the trees, moving them to comprehend its vast scale, understand its importance, and dedicate them to its preservation.”
The ADK Fire Tower Challenge, a complement to Views since the guide’s inception, requires hikers to ascend and document at least 23 of 30 fire tower summits found in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Sponsored by the Glens Falls–Saratoga Chapter, the Challenge was met with such enthusiasm that the chapter introduced a winter challenge. Completers receive a patch from the chapter. The Challenge and the book itself often serve to introduce hikers to little known parts of both parks.
Azure Mt. fire tower, fully restored, is the focus of a big celebration as it turns 100 on July 29 of this year. Stillwater Mt. tower, newest to the roster of the 30 towers, was reopened to the public in 2016 after extensive restoration. And New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation is working this month to restore Wakely Mt. tower. These measures alone are a testament to the fervent, ongoing interest in Adirondack and Catskill fire towers.
# # #
About ADK and Adirondack Experience
ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and advocating for New York State’s wild lands and waters while also teaching people how to enjoy natural places responsibly. Since 1922, the organization has offered people opportunities to stay and play in as well as protect, discover, and explore the outdoors. Today, ADK has 30,000 members in 27 chapters statewide and is served by a professional, year-round staff. The organization is recognized as a vital voice in the commitment to environmental stewardship and ethical outdoor recreation in New York State. For more information on membership or making a difference, head to ADK.org or follow ADK on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region through interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and culturally rich collections in more than 24 historic and contemporary buildings on a 121-acre campus in the Central Adirondacks. The ADKX offers a broad range of programs and activities including special and permanent exhibitions, a brand new 19,000 square foot Life in the Adirondacks interactive exhibition, daily activities with artisans-in-residence, workshops, lectures, nature tours, family and educational programs, and signature events like the Made in the Adirondacks Fair, Rustic Furniture Fair and Antiques Show and Sale. The museum is supported in part with donations from the general public, with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For additional information, call 518-352-7311 or visit www.theADKX.org.