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Some fun stuff will be happening at 3723' this summer!

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  • Some fun stuff will be happening at 3723' this summer!

    Another great season will soon begin at Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower! Thanks to a great group of volunteers, we will have the tower and cabin open every weekend from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Last years 125th year anniversary special events were so well received that we decided to try to offer some new events this year as well. We hope that you will be able to mark your calendars and join us at one of the events at some point during the season. A couple of weeks prior to the events we will send along a few more details about each, but for now here is a brief synopsis:

    We will open our season on Saturday, June 1st with a presentation by Dr. Mike Kudish, Professor Emeritus from Paul Smith's college and Catskill Forest Historian. Dr. Kudish has studied the unique peat bogs that are located near the summit of Balsam Lake mountain for many years. He will discuss the information that he has gathered from the bogs to determine the history of the area. He will also include a bit about the history of railroads and their connection to forest fires in the area. Discussions will be followed by a trip to the bog(s).

    And speaking of forest fires, not only do we have a fire tower to watch over the summit of Balsam Lake mountain, but we also have our friend Smokey the Bear coming to visit on Saturday, July 27th when we will host a Children's Day at the summit. Not only will we have our special visitor in attendance (unless called away by a forest emergency), but there will be many age appropriate activities and snacks for the children. We thank NYSDEC Forest Ranger, Kenny Gierloff for making this event possible.

    To continue with involving children and families in the outdoors, we will have a special presentation on Geocaching on Saturday, August 24th. Paula Repka, a veteran worldwide geocacher will explain what this phenomena is all about, give demonstrations on navigation techniques to help you find geocaches, show several examples of containers, as well as place several caches nearby for all to practice finding!

    On September 7th, we will have a presentation on Outdoor Photography by Moonray Schepart. Moonray is an avid hiker and nature photographer who will focus on techniques using your point and shoot camera and how to get the most out of it when you are in a beautiful outdoor setting such as the summit of Balsam Lake mountain.

    We hope you can come visit us again this year. If funding and weather allows, we have a few projects we hope to accomplish such as new windows in the tower and a new picnic table. So stop by, we are always happy to see visitors and hope to make your visit a pleasant one! Happy Hiking!

    Laurie Rankin, Volunteer Coordinator
    Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower