Hunter Mountain 4040'
The panoramic view from Hunter's fire tower is among the most arresting and far-reaching in the Catskills.”
Hunter Mountain Fire Tower
USGS Map: Hunter
NY-NJ Trail Conference Map: #41/141
Order of Height: 2nd at 4040'
Access: From east via Devil's Tombstone or Becker Hollow...From west via Spruceton Road
Description: Hunter Mountain is known to most as the snowmaking capital of the northeast. To the hiker, however, Hunter is the second highest mountain in the Catskills and one of the two 4000-footers.
There are fine views from the old fire tower and other views are available to those willing to explore off trail. Access from the east is either via the Devil's Path from Devil's Tombstone or via the Becker Hollow Trail. The Devil's Path involves some scrambling over ledges, while the Becker Hollow Trail is just a short, steep climb.
Colonel's Chair in Winter
From Spruceton Road, there are also two choices; the Devil's Path to the Devil's Acre Lean-to, then the yellow-blazed Hunter Mountain Trail, or the blue-blazed Spruceton Trail which follows the old jeep road to the fire tower. A fine circular from Spruceton Road involves both routes.
An interesting side trip from the Spruceton Trail, particularly in the winter, is to the Colonel's Chair. If the snow is deep, you can snowshoe down to the summit lodge and mingle with the skiers.
Fire Towers on Hunter
The summit of Hunter was home to three fire towers. The first tower built in 1909 was a 40' wooded structure and was located at the Becker Hollow Trail junction with a privy on the second landing!
The second was steel and built on the same site as the first in 1917. You can still see the footings today.
Original Wooden Fire Tower
The current tower, which is at the true summit, was built in 1953 and was manned until 1989 - 1990.
The tower lay dormant until it's restoration project and
eventually the towers reopening on October 7, 2000.
Hunter Mtn Wild Forest Map (opens in new window)
Links for Hunter Mountain
Photo credit: Top: Catskill Fire Tower Project | Middle: Scott Larson | Bottom: NYSDEC