How are you with New Year's Resolutions? Do you make them? Do you keep them? While you are considering how you will answer let me throw a suggestion out to you, the 2022 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge!

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced the annual event will kick off January 1, 2022! No time to waste!

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The Catskills Fire Tower Challenge! is designed to get you and me outside to explore some of the world-class destinations the Hudson Valley has to offer. The actual challenge is to hike each of the six fire towers in the Catskill Park. Do you think you can do it? You have until December 31, 2022.

Since 2019, the Catskills Fire Tower Challenge has introduced thousands of New Yorkers to the unparalleled experience of viewing the natural wonders of the Catskill Mountains from one of the park's historic fire towers. Commissioner Basil Seggos.

A fire tower is a perch, typically at some of the highest peaks, where observers look over the forests of New York State to search for signs of forest fires. There are around 100 in New York State. The Fire Tower Challenge highlights the remaining public fire towers in the Catskill Park.

The 2022 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge encourages hikers to visit the region's five historic fire towers as well as the latest addition. Here they are:

  • Balsam Lake Mountain in Hardenburgh
  • Hunter Mountain in Hunter
  • Overlook Mountain in Woodstock
  • Red Hill Mountain in Denning
  • Tremper Mountain in Shandaken
  • Upper Esopus Fire Tower is located at the Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center in Mt. Tremper. This one allows all visitors who may not otherwise be able to undertake the challenging hike to experience a fire tower on the high peaks in the Catskills.

To participate in the challenge, hikers must hike to all six DEC-owned fire towers in the Catskills between Jan. 1, and Dec. 31, 2022. Once completed, participants submit a log of their completed hikes along with a favorite photo to the Challenge email address: or via mail.

Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 7, 2023. Once you complete the challenge you will receive:

  • A letter
  • Commemorative 2022 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge patch
  • One-year subscription to DEC's Conservationist magazine
  • Downloadable and customizable certificate
  • Will be eligible to win hiking accessories after the challenge period is closed

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