“A quick but challenging (all uphill) overlook hike to a restored fire tower.”
— Moose Wreck
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Easy to keep an eye on the little ones here; the road leading to the summit is primarily quite safe and open. Almost shocking that younger hikers have no inhibitions whatsoever climbing the tower!
I've only rated this hike as intermediate due to its grade. It is a relatively simple hike, due to its asphalt milling surface. I didn't have the time to explore what seemed to be several singletracks also leading to the summit, but the climb is definitely worth the reward. An out-of-service fire tower stands at the top. You can still grab some good views from just over the treeline, which takes you less than half way up the tower itself if you're not willing to go all the way to the top.
Need to Know
Bring some binoculars to easily check out the NYC skyline and the beautiful features of the surrounding topography.
Parking is a bit limited, as a process and dirt parking lot at the trailhead only allows adequate parking space for about eight vehicles if you include the roadside area. About 0.8 miles down the access road, there is another spot for about three to four vehicles if you don't mind adding the distance to the challenging grade.
This is a very accessible trail, if you can even call it a trail, because it is wide and easily navigable by a truck or other vehicle if the gate at the upper parking area were to be unlocked. There are plenty of places to eat and shop in nearby downtown Carmel.
The tower itself probably isn't a venture for those who aren't comfortable with heights—the tower ascent itself is very challenging, and you can feel the air get thinner as you climb. The tower does move even in light wind, and it's quite open to the surrounding environment and elements. A visit in rainy or potentially icy weather may not be a great idea. That being said, the structure itself is primarily sound and is an adventure to conquer on its own.
History & Background
The fire tower was originally constructed in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and was restored and reopened to the public in 2005. It stands over 80 ft. tall, which is a taller tower by comparison to many of the other towers in the state that are typically 40-60 ft. examples of the same type construction. It is built from steel and uses wood platforms.
For more information, visit kentcac.info/wp/hikes/mount…