Rock Rift Fire Tower
US 1183, NY 41
March 2016 photo

March 2016 photo - courtesy of Laurie Rankin

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1183, NY 41 (view other lookouts in United States, New York)
Date Registered January 26, 2017
Nominated by Laurie Rankin
Location Tompkins, Delaware County, New York
Coordinates N 42° 06.234' W 075° 13.604' (view using Google Maps)
N 42° 06' 14" W 075° 13' 36"
N 42.103900° W 075.226733°
Elevation 2,376 ft (724 m)
Built 1934
Administered by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation


Rock Rift tower is a 72' 9" International Derrick E-4898 steel tower provided to the State of New York by the US Forest Service and erected by the CCC's in 1934. It is actually located on Tower Mt. Summit elevation is 2382' It remained in service until 1989.


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Visit Reports

April 29, 2017: Jack Kelley


Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? Not Applicable
Condition of wood OK? No
Stairs OK? No
Glass intact? No
Good condition? No
Comments: This tower stands proudly over the Cannonsville Reservoir, and must've had an amazing view when it was active. Closed to the public for many years and only reopened a few years ago, there is not much vandalism visible from the ground. The bottom stairs have been removed to prevent injury. Leaning against a tower leg the remnants of the fire finder stand can be seen, and about 30 feet from the front on the tower remains of the observer's cabin can be found.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? There is a sign at the trailhead that reads "Trail to Rock Rift fire tower."


Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? Unsure