Ferncliff Forest Fire Tower
US 1117, NY 37
Photo by Homer Staley

Photo by Homer Staley

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1117, NY 37 (view other lookouts in United States, New York)
Date Registered January 16, 2016
Nominated by Homer Staley
Location Ferncliff Forest
Dutchess County, New York
Coordinates N 41° 57.393' W 073° 55.618' (view using Google Maps)
N 41° 57' 24" W 073° 55' 37"
N 41.956555° W 073.926967°
Elevation 390 ft (119 m)
Built 1933
Administered by Ferncliff Forest, Inc.


The current overlook is a 1933 International Derrick Fire Tower and is approximately 80 feet high. The overlook offers spectacular views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. The overlook is open everyday all year long and is an easy walk of 15 minutes from the Ferncliff Forest parking lot.

The first overlook was built to aide map makers and was made out of trees from the forest. The Astor Family built a stone overlook in or around 1912. The foundation of that overlook remains on the site. In 1942 the Army Engineers built a wooden tower of 40 feet to protect the President in Hyde Park during the war. That tower was taken out of service in the year 2000. In 2007 an International Derrick fire tower was moved to the Forest. This overlook has over 10,000 visitors per year.


Change Basemap

Visit Reports

June 24, 2016: Jan Braidech


Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? No Response
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? No Response
Good condition? Yes
Comments: There is no glass at all in the cabin window frames but maybe for good reason as we noticed all the graffiti inside the cabin. (I selected "needs paint" that is to cover up graffiti.) You probably would have to keep replacing the glass though. <br /> <br />Not sure about shutters as it doesn't look like you've had them there before.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No
Other enroachments? We saw the plaque about a dog that fell off the tower and died. Sad. I wouldn't take a chance bringing any pet up there.

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? Not sure about any NHLR sign(s). We were so excited by the atmosphere of this particular park and were very anxious to get up the fire tower to take a load of photos. We are avid hikers and amateur photographers.


Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response