valentine's day hike

Valentine’s Day Hike to Red Hill Fire Tower

Today was a great day to do a Valentine’s day hike to Red Hill fire tower and complete one of the five Catskill fire tower challenges. Okay, fine! It was a very cold day, in the 10F, with wind chills of 8, but it was sunny. All you need for motivation to go outside and hike is sunshine and we had plenty of it. I did not appreciate it when the sun would play hide and seek behind the clouds but I participated in the game regardless. Today, we parked at a new location for the Fire Tower, located at

Last year we completed the Peakquest fire tower challenge but always forgot out scratch off card. We either left it in the car or at home so we did not scratch off the five peaks. Today, we made sure to take the Peakquest scratch off card, even though I almost forgot it again.

The beginning of our Valentine’s day hike started cold. Even though we were wearing gloves our fingers felt like they were losing circulation and getting frostbites. We pushed on, warmed up and our fingers came back to life. I do have to mention that someone was freaking out and said to turn around and warm up our hands. I ignored that statement and kept on going. Once we warmed up our fingers were back in action and all was well.

Red Hill Fire Tower Climb

The hike to the Fire tower was much needed. We’ve been hibernating like bears in the house and seem to only go out when it’s brutally cold. The incline to the tower was steady and it felt like there was no end to it. Once we got to the sign that let us know we were almost there it gave us an extra push to keep going. The minute I reached the top and saw the cabin and outhouse, I screamed in excitement. I kept going until I reached the top of the fire tower and got disappointed again. The tower lookout was locked, so my plans of eating snacks and enjoying the views was shattered. I tried to take a photo of the views but my iPhone froze to death. Literally!

After coming back down and taking a short break, we continued back to our car. This is when our fingers started to freeze again and the wind really picked up. At this point, I started to run down the trail, hoping the numbness in my fingernails would stop. And it did. Eventually, we were back to normal, some of us were even sweating with frost forming on their eyebrows, coming down the hill. When we saw the car I was a little shocked. The 4.3 mile hike was over and we were going to drive back home with leftover pizza from Stewart’s. Overall, this Valentine’s Day hike was beautiful, cold, but refreshing and worth every sniffle and moan.

Catskills Red Hill Fire Tower Challenge Hike 2022

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  1. It is really nice to get out in the middle of winter. Even when it is really cold. We also feel like Bears cooped up too long!

  2. Wow hiking in the snow! I live in Atlanta so we don’t get a lot of snow. I like the mild weather of spring and fall so if it does snow I don’t even go outside. So admire you for hiking in snow!

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