Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lake Welch and Fire Tower

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow Blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.2 Miles

Pros: Scenic Lake, quiet area
Cons: Fire tower closed
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Google Maps of Parking:

I hadn't been to the Fire Tower in a while, and wanted a short and quick hike as it was the day before Rosh Hashanah and I was short on time preparing for the Holiday. I had heard that the Jackie Jones Fire Tower had been closed, so I wanted to check it out. The Fire Tower was recently refurbished (See after having been briefly closed. 

I was disturbed to hear this news, and was even more disturbed to see this indeed was the case. There was a big locked fence around the entire structure, and it seemed like it was closed for good. This has been a great hike with a great view for so many years, and I don't understand by what right the tower had been closed. If something needed to be fixed, it should have been fixed, not closed. Us hikers have enjoyed this hike and the tower for many years, since our youth, and this should not suddenly be closed without access.

I parked at the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trailhead, and walked along Kanawauke Road towards Lake Welch. After the dam I went to the shore of Lake Welch and took some pictures. I then took the path along the phone line up Jackie Jones Mountain, which took me to the Fire Tower. As I was not able to access the Fire Tower, I headed down the mountain on the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail, passing the ORAK ruin and heading back to my car.

Map of the Route

Lake Welch Dam

Lake Welch from near the Dam

Trail from Lake Welch to the Fire Tower

Large Glacial Rock at the Top of the Ridge Near the Fire Tower

Fire Tower

Locked Gate Around the Fire Tower.
This is Sacrilegious! 

Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail on Jackie Jones Mountain

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