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Azure Mountain

Located in the northern Adirondacks in Franklin County, New York, the 2518 foot tall Azure Mountain contains a popular fire tower with some wonderful views. In the town of Waverly, south of the small hamlet of Santa Clara, the fire tower at Azure Mountain fire tower has stood tall since July 29, 1918.  A steep, but short one mile trail takes you to the summit and the fire tower, with rewarding views of the surrounding countryside of the Adirondacks. From the trailhead off of Blue Mountain Road to the mountain's summit, there is a 944 foot elevation gain. From the summit you can view the northern Adirondack forests, and on a clear day, you can even spot some of the distant high peaks.

Part of the Debar Mountain Wild Forest, Azure Mountain is also known locally as Blue Mountain. In 1918, the present 35 foot Aerometer galvanized steel fire tower was erected, at a cost of $530. However, by 1978, the fire tower was closed by the NYSDEC, and as a result, the lower two sets of stair risers were removed to prevent access to the cab of the fire tower. The fire tower saw 60 years of active service from 1918 to 1978, with at least fourteen fire observers and nine forest rangers that have served the Azure Mountain area and the fire tower. There was an observer's cabin on site, which was removed in 1995. In 2001, there were plans to remove the fire tower, but a volunteer group called the Azure Mountain Friends was formed and this led to the fire tower being restored. That same year, the fire tower on Azure Mountain was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Now a destination for the Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge, as well as other curiosity seekers, the fire tower atop of Azure Mountain was restored between 2001 and 2003, with a grand reopening on September 27, 2003, making this a popular hike that about 10,000 people are estimated to hike up the mountain each year. On summer weekends, you may come across a trail steward at the summit or along the trail as well. I've made the trek up Azure Mountain myself and found some wonderful views up high, along with some places to rest your bones and take in the gorgeous scenery around you.

At the trailhead.

On the hike up Azure.

Reached the fire tower. I'll let the pictures do the talking from here, especially since I was stuck in the cab of the fire tower while a summer shower passed by.

How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
CNY Hiking - Azure Mountain
Azure Mountain Friends - Azure Mountain Friends Home Page


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