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Tremper Mountain & Tremper Fire Tower

Tremper Mountain

Overview of the Hike to Tremper Mountain & Fire Tower:

Distance: 5.98 miles from Woodland Valley and back.
Time: Average 3.50 hours round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,966 feet from DEC parking lot on Rt 40.
Other names: Mount Tremper
Best Time to Hike: Morning.
Difficulty: Easy
VO Map No: 54
Catskill Highest: 100+
Peak Elevation: 2,724'
Digital Mapper: Topo Terrain Satellite
Attractions: Nice views from Tremper Mountain Fire Tower
Attractions: Nice and easy walk
Unattractions: Limited views from Tremper Mountain Fire Tower - trees almost overgrown
Unattractions: Timber Rattlesnakes in Quarry and on trails
Unattractions: Slippery Rocks on trail when wet
Common Animals: bears and rattlesnakes
Risky Animals: Rattlesnakes (High), Bears (Moderate)
Access Methods: Foot & snowshoe



Maps, Profile, and GPS files

Tremper Mountain GPS map
Tremper Mountain elevation profile
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin GDB format
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin GPX format
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin TEXT format




Directions to Trail Head from New York State Thruway (Easist, not the shortest):

  • GPS Coordinates to DEC Parking Lot: - Elevation is approximately 754 feet
  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 20 (Saugerties).
  • Take a LEFT out of the NYS Thruway toll booths onto Rt 32 South.
  • Go approximately 0.2 miles west on Rt 32
  • Take a RIGHT onto Rt 212 at the red light (Hess gas station across the road)
  • Go 9 miles into the Village of Woodstock, NY
  • Continue 1.8 miles to Berarsville, NY
  • Take a RIGHT at Bearsville and stay on RT 212 to Phoenicia
  • Continue 9.2 miles on Rt 212
  • Take a RIGHT onto Rt 40
  • Go 2.0 miles on Rt 40
  • The DEC Parking lot is on the RIGHT side of the road.



  • Notes about the Hike to Tremper Mountain and Fire Tower

    Hiking Tremper Mountain is a nice hike up the old jeep trail to the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower. The parking lot has been moved 3/10 of a mile down the road. The DEC parking lot is right next to the Rt 40. The trail head starts next to the DEC sign. Walk over a couple wooden bridges. The hike immediately climbs up 100 vertical feet up the stairs made out of rocks. Then for the next 1/2 mile the trail goes over fairly level ground.

    After 3/10 of a mile, you will be joined with the old jeep trail to the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower. The DEC registration box is at the junction of the trail and jeep trail. Make sure that you register for the hike. Then head up the old jeep trail.

    NOTICE: There are Timber Rattlesnakes on Tremper Mountain. There is a Rattlesnake den about 100 feet off the trail in the old blue stone quarry at elevation 1,450' (on trail - actual quarry is around 1,500'). It has been reported that there are approximately 100 Timber Rattlesnakes that den at the old blue stone quarry on Mount Tremper. There is an old road that leads into the quarry. Pickup up rocks in the quarry is an easy way to get bit. Rattlesnakes will come down and sit on the side of the trail, or even in the trail. They can be found anywhere on the mountain from Spring until late Fall. But, most are found around 1,450'. Before you do this hike, you should become knowledgable about Rattlesnakes. Click here to learn about them.

    The old jeep trail zig-zags up a number of switch backs. It is a fairly rocky path. When the rocks are wet, they are particularly slippery. From time-to-time you will drift in-and-out of conifer forest. Around 2,600' the old jeep trail will level off to a very easy grade.

    There are two lean-to on Tremper Mountain. The first Lean-To on Tremper Mountain is the Baldwin Lean-To at 2,100 feet. The second Lean-To on Tremper Mountain is at 2,700 feet. The second Lean-To on Tremper Mountain is called the Tremper Mountain Lean-To. The second Lean-To is 250 feet away from the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower. There is also a Spring around 2,200 feet. The Tremper Mountain Fire Tower has been restored. When we visited in 2009, the wooden treads were starting to rot, so be careful when climbing. Also the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower is limited to a maximum of six people at one time. Most of the trees around the Fire Tower have now grown up to almost the full height of the tower, so the view is limited.

    Prior to 1836 Tremper Mountain had a significant amount of Hemlock Trees. Between 1836 and 1879, they removed virtually all of the Hemlock trees from Tremper Mountain. the Hemlock trees were harvested for the bark. They used the bark for tanning leather. Tremper Mountain had a number of forest fires. They had forest fires in the years 1881, 1888, 1916, and 1917. The large Tremper House Hotel was built in 1979. It was located near Tremper Mountain. The first part of the Phoenicia Wild Forest was first acquired between 1906 and 1910.

    The Tremper Mountain Fire Tower was built in 1917, and was built to replace the fire tower on Slide Mountain. It was used up until 1971. After 1971, the fire tower was abandon, and fell into disrepair. The Tremper Mountain Fire Tower was restored and opened to the public on June 9, 2001. The Tremper Mountain Fire Tower is 47 feet high.

    Tremper Mountain got it's name from the owner and founder of the Tremper House Hotel. His name was Major Jacob Tremper.


    Mile Stone Chart

    Mile PointAltitudeNotes
    0.00735 DEC Parking Lot on Rt 40
    0.30839 DEC Registration Box.
    2.032,100' Side Trail to Baldwin Lean-To on RIGHT.
    2.072,094' Baldwin Lean-To
    2.142,100 Return back to Trail.
    2.222,196 Side Trail to Water Spring on LEFT.
    2.242,210 Water Spring.
    2.262,196 Return back to trail.
    2.942,700 Tremper Mountain Lean-To
    2.992,712 Tremper Mountain Fire Tower.
    5.98735 Return back to DEC Parking Lot.

    Hike to Tremper Mountain and Tremper Fire Tower

    Tremper Mountain
    The DEC Parking Lot is located right next to Rt 40. The parking lot holds approximately 10 cars. There is another parking lot about 2/10 of a mile towards Phoenicia, which holds approximately 8 cars.

    The trail head is right next to the DEC message board. It starts by crossing several wooden bridges. You will then climb 100 vertical feet up a steep hill that has stone steps..
    Tremper Mountain
    Tremper Mountain
    This is a picture of the steep climb, looking backwards. There are stone steps up the steep climb. When they are wet, they are quite slippery.

    After you climb the steep hill, you will then walk down a fairly level path for 1/4 mile. This hike will link you up with the Jeep trail that will take you to the top of Mount Tremper and Tremper Mountain Fire Tower.
    Tremper Mountain
    Tremper Mountain
    At mile post 0.30 miles, the trail will meet with the jeep trail. At this intersection is a DEC Registration box. Please register for the hike.

    Like many of the fire tower hikes, the jeep trail to the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower has a steady incline that never seems to stop. This trail does the same.
    Tremper Mountain
    Tremper Mountain
    At mile post 1.18 miles and elevation 1,450' feet you will see a large blue stone quarry on your left. It is about 50 vertical feet up the side of the mountain. There is a Timber Rattlesnake den in this quarry. It is possible to see a Timber Rattlesnake anywhere on the mountain, but you are most likely to see one at this particular location. Timber Rattlesnake's body are as thick as a man's forearm. They usually sit coiled up waiting for prey. They usually will not rattle until you are very close to them. If you step within 3 feet of them, or on them, they will strike. They would like to be left alone.
    Tremper Mountain
    Here are two more pictures of the steady uphill climb up the Jeep trail. There are a number of switchbacks to keep the grade steady.
    Tremper Mountain
    Tremper Mountain
    Here is a picture at one of the western switchbacks that shows the valley floor below.
    Tremper Mountain
    At mile post 2.03 (elev 2,100') you will see a side trail on the RIGHT that leads to the Baldwin Memorial Lean-To. The Lean-to is hard to see when the leaves are on the trees. It is even harder to see when there are ground plants growing. The Baldwin Memorial Lean-To is 200 feet off the trail. They have just built a new outhouse there. The Baldwin Memorial Lean-to also has a nice fireplace pit. It looks to the south for morning sunlight to enter. Procupines nibble away at the floor. They are looking for salt.
    Tremper Mountain
    The picture on the LEFT is a picture of the Baldwin Memorial Lean-to from the Jeep Trail in the Winter. In summer you often cannot see the Baldwin Memorial Lean-to from the Tremper Mountain Jeep trail.

    The picture on the RIGHT shows the new outhouse (picture taken in 2009).
    Tremper Mountain
    Tremper Mountain
    At mile post 2.22 (elev 2,196'), there is a sign on the right side of the trail telling you that a water spring exist.

    The picture on the right shows the water spring. The water comes out of the ground at a fairly good rate from two sources.
    Tremper Mountain
    Tremper Mountain
    The picture on the left shows the trail to the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower going through a small conifer forest.

    At mile post 2.60 and elevation of 2,600' the trail to the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower levels off to an easy hike. You can see that trail in the picture on the right.
    Tremper Mountain
    Tremper Mountain
    At mile post 2.94 (Elev 2,700) you will see a second lean-to on the LEFT. This lean-to is called the Tremper Mountain Lean-to. It is 250 feet away from the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower. In 2009 the Lean-to was fairly well rotted, and the roof was leaking. It is still useable as of 2009.
    Tremper Mountain
    At mile post 2.99 (elev 2,712) you will come to the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower. The fire tower can only hold 6 hikers at a time. As of 2009 the treads were starting to rot, so be careful climbing the tower.
    Links and References:
    CatskillMountain.com Forum - Ask questions, talk about your experience with this hike
    Information on the Tremper Mountain Fire Tower.

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