New PA for Red Hill Fire Tower [Feb 9]

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New PA for Red Hill Fire Tower [Feb 9]

New postby dave » Sat May 01, 2021 11:24 am

DEC Announces Grand Opening of New Red Hill Fire Tower Parking Lot and Trail

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the opening of the new Red Hill Fire Tower trail and parking lot in the Catskill Forest Preserve. The newly constructed lot, trail, and informational kiosk are located in Ulster County on Denning Road in the Town of Denning and will improve access to the scenic Red Hill Fire Tower and other features at DEC's Sundown Wild Forest. The announcement was made on Catskill Park Day, Feb. 9, 2021.

"This new trailhead parking lot and hiking trail will make it easier to visit the historic Red Hill Fire Tower, enhancing year-round access to an outstanding view of the southern Catskills,"

Commissioner Seggos said: "With support from the State's Environmental Protection Fund and partnerships with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the town of Denning, this project bolsters Governor Cuomo's sustained efforts to connect more New Yorkers to the outdoors and world-class destinations like the Catskills."

The new trail improves access to the Red Hill Fire Tower, a popular hiking destination in the Catskills, which is one of the fire towers featured in Governor Cuomo's Catskills Fire Tower Five Challenge (leaves DEC's website). After entering into a land use permit agreement with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Tahawus Trails built the newly established blue-blazed trail that traverses both city and State Forest Preserve lands through rocky outcroppings and hemlock-laden forests. The 1.4 miles of trail intersects with the existing trail, leading up to the 60-foot tall Red Hill Fire Tower that was constructed in 1920. Hikers can climb nine flights of stairs to the top for unsurpassed views of the Catskill peaks and Rondout Reservoir.

The parking lot (leaves DEC's website) was constructed by DEC Operations staff to accommodate up to 10 cars. The trail is located approximately four miles east of the intersection of West Brand and Claryville roads.

Across the state, volunteer-based initiatives are working to help protect New York's fire towers. These initiatives recognize the towers represent New York's history and heritage of forest protection and are a resource with the potential to attract visitors. The Catskill Center's Catskill Fire Tower Project volunteers, under a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement with DEC, help maintain, support, and advocate for the Catskill fire towers, including Red. Volunteers staff the towers on weekends throughout the summer and fall, opening the cab and interpreting the view from the tower.

The new parking area is located at GPS location: 41.935139, -74.529389 (Put those gps coordinates into your browser to see a map of the location of the new DEC parking area).
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