Panther Fire Tower
US 148, WV 3

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 148, WV 3 (view other lookouts in United States, West Virginia)
Date Registered December 15, 1995
Nominated by Jim Circle, District Forester
Location Panther State Forest
McDowell County, West Virginia
Coordinates N 37° 25.978' W 081° 53.024' (view using Google Maps)
N 37° 25' 59" W 081° 53' 01"
N 37.432965° W 081.883737°
Elevation 2,086 ft (636 m)
Administered by West Virginia Division of Forestry
Cooperators West Virginia Division of Forestry


The 41’ Panther Tower was built in 1940 by the West Virginia Division of Forestry to oversee the Panther State Forest. It is one of a handful of distinctive Blau-Knox towers remaining. The windows in the 7’x 7’ metal cab swing open in a four pane block.


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Visit Reports

July 15, 2013: Jan Dzierzak


Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? No Response
Glass intact? Yes
Good condition? Yes
Comments: Tower is in decent condition, wood steps need replaced, tower and cab painted, windows replaced.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No
Other enroachments? With the land moving from a forest to a Wildlife Management Area there will be no encroachments to the tower.

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? No
Comments? Due to road usage rules on the area only authorized vehicles can drive to the tower and general public is discouraged to drive. There is a hiking trail that leads from our group camp facilities to the tower but it is not marked and not well maintained due to short staffing at the park.


Staffed? No
Forestry no longer uses the tower. State Parks maintains the tower and surrounding area and uses the tower as a location for radio repeater.

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? Yes
We always welcome volunteer help to work on projects in the park.