The last Catskill Fire Tower Challenge hike we did with Kara was Overlook Mountain and Echo Lake trail. The last time we came to Overlook fire tower, it was still winter and everything was white and frozen. This time it was a rainy, fall morning. We decided we were not going to let the rain stop us from hiking and we’re all glad we still went.
When we got to the parking lot, there were only three other cars there. We saw two people and a dog come down, about a mile in, and no one else. If you’ve never been to Overlook Mountain fire tower, you’re missing out. This is another 2 mile trail of just straight uphill but it’s an easy trail on a wide road. The trail is made of gravel and loose rocks so be careful where you step, especially on rainy, fall days. After reaching the top to the tower, we climbed up and saw no views. It was too foggy to see anything other than the trees below us by the tower. As we were coming down the tower, we saw a few snow flurries. I am not ready for snow yet, but will enjoy it when it comes.
After coming down Overlook fire tower, we ate our snacks and looked at the map. We decided we would do the trail to Echo Lake as well since it was on our way down the trail. First, we went to the scenic overview by the cabin. There were no views but it was still a beautiful, short hike in the woods. After taking a few pictures and not flying off the cliff, we went on our merry way to the other trail.
Overlook Mountain to Echo Lake Campground
The trail to Overlook Mountain is a wide, old carriage road with loose rocks. The trail to Echo Lake is the opposite. It starts off as a narrow trail, something that deers might have made, and opens up into a wider road trail. The foggy morning and rain made this section of the trail even more magical. This trail is around 2 miles to the lean-to at Echo Lake.
The trail from Overlook Mountain and Echo Lake is beautiful and definitely worth a hike in the fall. While it was raining as we hiked it wasn’t too hard and heavy. The road was mixed with gravel and loose rocks, which can be dangerous in the rain. We all had a close call falling down at one point or another. It took us a while to get down to Echo Lake because we kept stopping to enjoy the scenery and take more photos. Once we came to the lake we sat down in the Echo Lake lean-to and enjoyed our snacks again. After resting for half an hour, it was time to psych ourselves and go up the hill.
It only took us forty minutes to do the 2 miles up the hill in the pouring rain. We had umbrellas, ponchos and waterproof jackets, so we were good but feet still got wet. As we were climbing up, the trail filled up with water. At the sign .6 mile up the trail at the intersection is where the trail had more wet puddles. When we finally came to the intersection for the Overlook Mountain trail, we saw more people going up. We also had a couple pass us and comment that we came prepared, unlike them. They were soaked from head to toe and had no gear with them, not even a water bottle.
If you’re going to Overlook Mountain and Echo Lake trail please make sure to come prepared or at least check the weather before you go. Layers are essentials since you will feel hot going up and your body will cool off coming down the hill. The trail is over eight miles long so be sure to bring snacks.