ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the 2022 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge. Starting January 1, 2022, visitors are challenged to hike each of the six fire towers in the Catskill Park and submit information about their visit to earn recognition and prizes.

“The Catskills Fire Tower Challenge is a great way to introduce new visitors to hiking and outdoor recreation in the Catskill Park,” said Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center. “By bringing visitors to the Fire Towers, we are directing them to durable trails, great views, and the opportunity to interact with our Fire Tower Stewards to get information about the Park, Fire Tower history, and much more.”

Launched in 2019, the first challenge had 878 finishers who submitted nearly 4,400 selfies from the base of the region’s six remaining fire towers. DEC received challenge entries from every region of the state, 12 different states and Canada. Participants hiked an estimated 21,000 miles in the Catskills.

To participate, hikers must hike to all six fire towers in the Catskills between January 1 and December 31. Once completed, participants submit a log of their completed hikes along with a favorite photo to or via mail. Entries must be postmarked by January 7, 2023.

Fire towers

  • Overlook Mountain in Woodstock
  • Hunter Mountain in Hunter
  • Red Hill Mountain in Denning
  • Balsam Lake Mountain in Hardenburgh
  • Tremper Mountain in Shandaken
  • Upper Esopus in Mt. Tremper

Participants that complete the challenge will receive a letter, commemorative 2022 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge patch and a one-year subscription to DEC’s “Conservationist” magazine. Finishers will also be able to download a customizable certificate and will be eligible to win hiking accessories.

Interested hikers can complete their first fire tower of the challenge during two of the guided First Day Hikes. The Catskill Center, in partnership with DEC, will host two guided fire tower hikes on January 1 to Overlook Mountain Fire Tower and Upper Esopus Fire Tower. Space is limited and pre-registration is required for both hikes.

More information about the hiking challenge can be found on the DEC website.