Fire towers usually are off-limits to the general public, particularly historic ones. But if the weather allows, the Beech Mountain Fire Tower at Acadia National Park will be open Saturday, October 17, for you to climb to the top for a view of the jewel of the Atlantic in all its fall splendor.
Park officials say they'll have the tower open from noon to 4 p.m. next Saturday. For some interpretation, a ranger will be on hand to answer any questions, and Smoky Bear items will be waiting for children who make it to the top. Dogs on leash are allowed to accompany hikers to the top, but cannot climb to the top of the tower because of the open grating on the steps and platform, according to the park. Warm clothes are strongly recommended.
The fire tower is on the National Registry of Historic Fire Towers and is usually not open to the public. The original Beech Mountain fire lookout was in use from 1941 to the mid-1950s. It was a wooden building constructed by men from the Civilian Conservation Corp camps on Mount Desert Island. When it started to deteriorate, a new steel tower was flown in and erected at the top by 1962. It was manned during the day sporadically, but usually only during high fire danger times. The last time a park ranger manned the tower was in 1976.