Several years ago, Tom Clark, the current owner of the disassembled Bramley Mountain fire tower, approached the Catskill Mountain Club with an offer to allow the tower to be restored if the CMC could lead the effort. We agreed, and after community and government support to restore it to the summit was gained, the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower were formed to organize the reconstruction of the fire tower that was decommissioned by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 1970 and removed in 1975. The tower was purchased by Pete Clark, a local farmer, who meticulously stored the tower’s parts right down to the nuts and bolts in his barn. It is well preserved as a result. With the formation of the Friends group, the effort to raise funds and complete the resurrection of the tower was officially begun.
In 2008 the NYC Department of Environmental Protection acquired the Bramley Mountain parcel and in 2016 the DEP allowed the Catskill Mountain Club to build a trail to the summit. The trail has been very popular with the public, drawing over 3200 hikers a year, some of them from as far away as Europe and Africa. Right now, the view of the Western Catskills from the ledge of the mountaintop is impressive, but when the tower is rebuilt and hikers can climb it to see above the treeline, the 360-degree views of the Catskills and of the Delaware River Valley will be spectacular. Based on evidence from other Catskill Mountain Fire Towers which have been restored, once the fire tower is up, the number of out-of-town visitors to the trail will grow exponentially. Many of those visitors will shop, eat and stay in the surrounding towns, and they will spend a considerable amount of money with local businesses. This important result from the restoration, along with recreational and public health benefits, make the project an important one for the region.
To help the effort to bring the Fire Tower back to Bramley Mountain with your donation, click here.
Visit the Bramley Mountain Fire tower website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about the project.
Click here to be added to the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower’s email list, to get more detailed news on the progress of the fire tower project and to learn about volunteer opportunities. Volunteers will be needed throughout the project, to assist with fundraising, to help sort the components of the tower for inspection, painting components, assistance during construction as well as work afterwards staffing the cabin for visitors. Sign up and be part of the fun! For more information about the project or volunteer opportunities email the Friends at info@BramleyMountainFireTower.org