Overlook Mountain Fire Tower
US 223, NY 17

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 223, NY 17 (view other lookouts in United States, New York)
Date Registered April 28, 1997
Nominated by Bob Spear, FFLA
Location Catskill Forest Preserve
Ulster County, New York
Coordinates N 42° 05.084' W 074° 05.557' (view using Google Maps)
N 42° 05' 05" W 074° 05' 33"
N 42.084740° W 074.092613°
Elevation 3,120 ft (951 m)
Administered by New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Cooperators The Catskill Forest Center, the Forest Fire Lookout Ass'n & NYS-DEC


Located in New York’s Catskill Forest Preserve, Overlook Mountain Fire Tower was constructed by the New York Department of Conservation (now DEC) in 1917. The 60’ steel Aermotor LS-40 tower with 7’x 7’ metal cab was in active service for 54 years until it closed in 1971. It has been restored as a joint venture by the Catskill Forest Center (Catskill Forest Assoc., a NWOA affiliate), the Highlands Group of the Forest Fire Lookout Assoc. and the NYS-DEC.


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4/11/04 Warren Johnsen photo (courtesy Bill Starr

4/11/04 Warren Johnsen photo (courtesy Bill Starr

Visit Reports

April 14, 2017: Laurie Rankin


Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? Not Applicable
Condition of wood OK? No
Stairs OK? No
Glass intact? Yes
Good condition? Yes
Comments: On the day of this visit, painting was just getting started of the structure. The wooden landings and stairs do need paint as well and some boards need to be replaced. Repairs are in place at the time of the visit.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? Good signage. NHLR sign is inside Observers cabin.


Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? Yes
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? Yes
The Catskill Fire Tower Project, Overlook Fire Tower Committee provide a volunteer on duty at the fire tower weekends and holidays each year since the reopening in 1999. Volunteers provide the visiting public with information regarding the history of the fire towers, the local area, land use regulations, LNT, hikeSafe and more. The Committee also does maintenance on the fire tower and Observers cabin where educational and historical displays are. Committee often works with the Boy Scouts of America, the group who was starting the painting the day of this visit.