The Best Fall Foliage View is From New York Fire Towers
It's obvious the higher up you go, the more beautiful fall landscape you'll be able to see. Short of employing an aircraft of some kind, your best bet would be the Department of Environmental Conservation's fire towers.
At one time there were more than 100 fire towers throughout the state, including 52 in the Adirondacks and another 19 in the Catskills. The last closed in 1990 as modern technology made it easier and more economical to keep an eye on mother nature.
Fortunately organized groups have prevented the abandoned structures from deteriorating and restored some that had gone downhill. This makes for spectacular views all year round. In fact they're called "cheap views" because of the easier access and shorter hikes. Here's a list of towers around Central and Upstate New York.
- Number Four Fire Tower is now located at the DEC Lowville Demonstration Area.
- New Boston Fire Tower is located at the Thompson Park Zoo in Watertown.
- Cathedral Rock Fire Tower is located on the ESF Wanakena Ranger School Campus.
- Rondaxe (AKA Bald) Fire Tower is located on Fulton Chain Wild Forest.
- Mt. Arab Fire Tower is located on Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest in St Lawrence County.
- Berry Hill Fire Tower is located in McDonough State Forest, Chenango County.
- Padlock Fire Tower is at the New York State Fairgrounds.
- Sugar Hill Fire Tower is located on Sugar Hill State Forest in the Finger Lakes