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Old 08-21-2021, 07:17 PM   #121
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I was checking out XC MTB bikes and the highest-rated ones were retailing above $1k. Used bikes could be option if my finances are tight next year. My one friend who's into biking had some bad experiences going that route, though, so I'm a bit hesitant. I guess we'll see. I do appreciate the detailed information you've provided on the strengths of those bikes, and on tires.
Sure thing, send me a pm if you need more info.
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Old 08-21-2021, 07:23 PM   #122
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I climbed Tuscarora, it's very dangerous, still limited view. Sometimes I climb unrehabilitated towers and sometimes I don't depending on my condition. If a sign says don't do it I won't. Missing stairs, rotted boards, will not inhibit me. I used to climb spruce trees in dangerous situations as a kid all the time. I did it in the winter. My father's last name matches a former fire tower observer at Goodnow. I never met my father to confirm a link, but I have been wondering if this is in my blood.

I did the same thing on Alma Hill. I saw the owner and his family at their house. I was too shy to stop at their house to ask that time.

Hartzfelt Hill is another former site south of Olean. There is a dirt road leading up to it. I tried it but ran into a person, probably the owner, with lumber on the road. I turned around and left the area There was no posted signs. A small parcel of state land still exists the last I knew.

I have been to the Irvine foundation and I have been in the woods of Science Hill looking for it's foundation. They are not the only ones. I have a list of 10 sites for Cattaraugus county, 4 of which stand. I also have heard of a 11th one with a question mark. Communities would just erect towers without the state. News articles are occasionally dug up about them and posted on various web sites. Occasionally us researchers come across them. There is a place in Nassau County where an article states a local person funded the building of a tower to watch for fires. What happened to it I don't know. Then there is a lead into 11 more built in NYC, it just goes on and on. Frances Seaman wrote about one on Albany Mountain. There is one standing tower in the Hudson Highlands near Storm King and no author on the towers has ever covered it or given note. One site mentions it, but gives completely wrong coordinates. The list of towers seems never complete.

The great authors Paul Lasky, Bill Starr, Marty Podskoch never got them all. Bill Starr's list gets upgraded though. If you look at the plaque in the Elizabethtown Historical Center you will see Mount Morris is missing in the list. It's not because it was out of region either. I have photo proof unless they upgraded it in the last 10 years. I said something, but I was a 20 something year old coming out of nowhere questioning it

The site of the Ellicottville Tower is funded by the public and it's the Irvine/Science Hill tower. See if you can find it. It was mentioned in what was Paul T Hartman's website. I think there was a merger of his data. It comes up when Googled because it's becoming more known.

The core of my info is imprinted in my head from 2010. So much has changed since then. Another backyard tower springs up, another article uncovered, another information center restores a former tower. Bramley is expected to be brought back and restored I think on it's site!!!
Re-posting my response to the above message since I accidentally edited over it. I think the heat and humidity are getting to me!

I'm sure you're familiar with the Eastern Forest Lookouts site that lists existing and former towers, along with news snippets from a century ago in some cases. I'm guessing the ten Catt Co. sites listed there are the same that you know about...

Mount Morris, assuming it's the same one you referred to, is on my wishlist of more obscure ADK peaks. Someone posted a summit photo on Peakbagger's website and it looks worth checking out. The satellite view of the mountain also looks intriguing.

This website may have pointed me in the right direction for that Ellicottville firetower. Currently searching the Google Maps satellite view around the school they mentioned.

Sorry about the re-post...
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Old 08-21-2021, 07:28 PM   #123
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This has to be it, right?

42.31455007095308, -78.62677645862264

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Old 08-21-2021, 07:57 PM   #124
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Re-posting my response to the above message since I accidentally edited over it. I think the heat and humidity are getting to me!

I'm sure you're familiar with the Eastern Forest Lookouts site that lists existing and former towers, along with news snippets from a century ago in some cases. I'm guessing the ten Catt Co. sites listed there are the same that you know about...

Mount Morris, assuming it's the same one you referred to, is on my wishlist of more obscure ADK peaks. Someone posted a summit photo on Peakbagger's website and it looks worth checking out. The satellite view of the mountain also looks intriguing.

This website may have pointed me in the right direction for that Ellicottville firetower. Currently searching the Google Maps satellite view around the school they mentioned.

Sorry about the re-post...
I have been to Mount Morris, I have photos. I did ask the owner for permission. He was in his 70s when I visited him in E-town some six years ago. The tower is completely incased in communications wiring with dishes pointed at it. It's like the Borg took it over. I have to dig up the photos

He owns Palmer Hill too. The maintenance crew wouldn't let me in the fortified tower without a safety helmet. You know how OSHA is. Just give one of yours lol. Oh well I got to touch Palmer Hill and see a small view.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mount Morris Fire Tower.jpg (69.4 KB, 82 views)

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Old 08-21-2021, 08:09 PM   #125
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I have been to Mount Morris, I have photos. I did ask the owner for permission. He was in his 70s when I visited him in E-town some six years ago. The tower is completely incased in communications equipment. It's like the Borg took it over. I have to dig up the photos

He owns Palmer Hill too. The maintenance crew wouldn't let me in the fortified tower without a safety helmet. You know how OSHA is. Just give one of yours lol. Oh well I got to touch Palmer Hill and see a small view.
Lol... The summit area of Morris looks like it would be interesting to explore, judging by the overhead views.



Quite a contrast between the modern-looking communications equipment and the dilapidated tower cab. Originally I thought that photo was of Palmer but then saw Mount Morris in the filename.
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Old 08-21-2021, 08:23 PM   #126
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This has to be it, right?

42.31455007095308, -78.62677645862264

That is correct.

The Eastern Lookout page has a more complete list of towers than what was on Hartmann's Forest Ranger site. There are some anomalies though. I combed it once and found a few missing. I might comb it again, because it's probably updated. That site brings up some really obscure places. I'm wondering if they sent out bots to find these places and articles on the internet, because there are a few anomalies. One of the towers is clearly Pennsylvanian. Another one is, "what is that"? Salt Hill aka Nelson has a fallen tower. This site lists nearby Spitzenberg as a tower site, without leads. Did Spitzenberg really have a pre 1909 wood tower. I have no idea.

Update: never mind they posted the article for Spitzenberg. I wonder if that is a scenario where the operation site was moved to Salt Hill. A scenario Like when Dunn/Dun Brook lol, was moved to Goodnow or Ohmer moved to Hadley. I'm going to re analyze their list tonight to keep up on what is going on.

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Old 08-22-2021, 08:57 AM   #127
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I was checking out that Ellicottville fire tower on CalTopo's hybrid satellite/topo map and noticed it's on an east-facing slope. Might check it out after the leaves come off the trees, around sunrise, on a day when the school isn't in session. If for whatever reason I'm not able to go up the tower, I could always salvage my day in McCarty Hill State Forest, Little Rock City, or Allegany State Park.

While not technically a fire tower, the Oak Orchard Lookout Tower in northern Genesee County offers decent views to both the west and east. I would imagine it's a nice spot to watch the sunset on clearer days than this.
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:45 AM   #128
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The tower at Oak Orchard was a fire tower. It's Kings Park from Long Island. They took the top off and repurposed the top for a viewing platform. You can find the name kings Park stenciled somewhere at the base.

The structure at Kings Park was an 80' Aermotor LS40 tower erected by the Conservation Department in 1948.

"The Long Island State Park Commission removed this structure in 1960. The lower 47' portion is now used as an observation platform at Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area near Buffalo. Visitors can still clearly see the words "NYSCD Kings Park LI" stenciled on some of the steel pieces". https://nysffla.org/alphalist.html
Interesting. That tower really traveled a long ways to its new home!

Speaking of fire tower relocations, I've always thought that the perfect place for a lookout tower would be on top of Bare Hill on the eastern side of Canandaigua Lake. Currently, there are partially-obstructed views of the lake. If you put a 50-100 foot tower up there, you'd have a really outstanding viewpoint of the lake and for sunsets. If I ever purchased a drone, that would be one of the first places I'd take it.
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Old 09-12-2021, 11:43 AM   #129
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Alright, back to waterfalls...

The second time was a charm for Keshequa Creek Falls in Sonyea State Forest, east of Letchworth State Park. Back in February, my Garmin GPS routed me through a state prison road where I wasn't authorized to drive and the alternative roads were a bit too snowy, icy, and bumpy for my liking. This time, I followed the driving directions on the DEC's website and made it to the trailhead okay in spite of the long detour around the state penitentiary and the pothole-filled state forest road.

This hike and creekwalk blew away my expectations despite the waterfalls themselves not being very tall. There were sizeable cliffs alongside Keshequa Creek and in the nearby woods. Similar to Eighteen Mile Creek near Buffalo, this felt like a mini Zoar Valley. The main waterfall area contained (let me count 'em) five waterfalls, and there were other small cascades accessible by side trails and/or creekwalking. There are also designated camping areas near the creek with views of the waterfall areas. All in all, it was a great morning and I had the entire place to myself. I highly recommend exploring the Keshequa Creek Valley (which the Senecas called "the valley of the eternal sun") as an addition to Letchworth and Stony Brook.

In total, I hiked around 20 miles yesterday: 3-4 miles in Sonyea State Forest, 15+ miles R/T in Letchworth State Park, and some eveningtime walking around Allen Lake. A gallery containing 30+ photos from Sonyea & Letchworth are linked to below:

SONYEA & LETCHWORTH GALLERY













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Old 10-20-2021, 09:37 PM   #130
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Some recent waterfall photos from the eastern side of New York State with information at the bottom. I'll post a trip report for OK Slip Falls in the main Trip Reports forum over the weekend when I'm not so pressed for time. Gotta get ready to return to work tomorrow after having five days off...


OK Slip Falls (Adirondack Park - Hamilton County)


Mine Kill Falls (Mine Kill State Park - Schoharie County)


Pixley Falls (Pixley Falls State Park - Oneida County)


Delphi Falls (Delphi Falls County Park - Madison County)


BONUS: Bish Bash Falls (Bish Bash S.P. - Massachusetts)

Might also upload some videos when I have a chance, since I thought those turned out better than the photos. Delphi Falls was especially powerful after heavy rains, and the still image doesn't do it justice.
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:40 PM   #131
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For those living in Western New York, the No Trespassing signs at Cascades of Attica are gone. Either the property owner took them down or some punk did. In either case, I used this as an opportunity to check out a place that I hadn't been to before. There are a series of waterfalls here, with the highest being 60 ft. high.

For those wanting to go down to the base of the 60-foot waterfall, I would recommend footwear with good traction, hiking poles, and a long sturdy rope. Only possessing one of these three items (the poles), I decided not to press my luck descending the dangerous cliff and settled for the partially-obstructed view from the faint trail leading from Cascade Road. There supposedly used to be a fixed rope leading down to Crow Creek, but I didn't see it. If I ever go back here, it will be with the gear necessary for safe rappelling.







On a totally unrelated note, fall foliage is in full effect around here. Hardly needed to add any saturation to this pic because the colors were already popping...

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