Tag: Fire Tower

The Fire Tower is Returning!

We have some fantastic news to share: Funding has been secured to begin the design and engineering work needed to bring back the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower in Pound Ridge, NY! (See course map for location of tower – near Water Stop.)

Many of you know the original name of this race was the Fire Tower 10k, but we changed the name to Raven Rocks Run after it was brought to our attention that approval might not be given for a race with that ambitious name 5 years ago. 

Photo taken in 1970 of the Aeromotor Company Model #LS-40 Fire Tower in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

The Raven Rocks Run was conceived and founded to help bring attention and resources to the effort to bring the Fire Tower back to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Nine years after the fire tower effort began, and five years after the race was founded, these efforts have paid off.

The credit is mostly due to the persistence and passion of Tom Cohn, former president of the Friends of Trailside Museum, who was our official race starter 2 years ago. Tom has not wasted an opportunity to bend any willing ear to share with  them his dream project. 

Peter Harckham announces the state and county funding for the fire tower restoration project State Senator Peter Harckham on October 29, 2019 at the WPA Gallery at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY. He is addressing the crowd about the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower project and the funding he and others have secured at the state and county level. Behind him, left to right, is Westchester County Film and Tourism Director Natasha Caputo, Fire Tower evangelist Tom Cohn, County Executive George Latimer, and County Legislator Kitley Covill. Seated in the front row are Supervisors Kevin Hansen, Peter Parsons, and Chris Burdick from the towns of Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, and Bedford.

New York State Senator Peter Harckham was at the Rez on Tuesday, October 29th to announce NY State funding of $100,000 for engineering and design work to bring back the Tower. Westchester County Executive George Latimer was also there along with District 2 Legislator Kitley Covill — they announced a matching $100,000 from Westchester County to keep the project moving. Town Supervisors from Bedford, Pound Ridge, and Lewisboro were also in attendance and in support.

Check the News12 video story on the announcement here: http://westchester.news12.com/story/41244751/state-grants-dollar100k-to-build-new-fire-tower-at-ward-pound-ridge-reservation

The design and engineering phase will start early next year after 2020 budgets have been passed. Design and engineering will take about 12 months before anything can get started with holes in the ground — but the project finally has the blessing, funding, and public support from the state and county to move forward and get it done. 

Replica of the Fire Tower commissioned by Tom Cohn five years ago to help generate interest and enthusiasm in the project.

We are excited to have the Raven Rocks Run go by the restored fire tower in a couple of years. I hope you are too!

In the meantime, get ready to run the trails next weekend – Race Date November 10th! And good luck to any of our runners who will be running the NYC Marathon this coming weekend!

….Rob, Ciorsdan, and the rest of the Raven Rocks Run Volunteers

News 12 Video about Fire Tower Project

This story was broadcast in early 2015 as plans for the rebuilding of the Fire Tower were gaining attention.

We are not sure of the current status of the project, but we at the Raven Rocks Run are fully supportive of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservations and their efforts to rebuild the former Cross River Mountain Fire Tower.

It would be rebuilt in its old location on the Blue Trail at highest point in the park if the plans are approved.

Cross River Fire Tower Flyer

1970-fire-tower-photoThe Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation has pledged their support for replacing the Cross River Fire Tower with the same model of tower that was removed in the early 1980s. They have put together this information sheet (the-beacon-flyer) with more information.

The Raven Rocks Run is committed to supporting the Friends group, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, and the Trailside Museum. Proceeds from the Raven Rocks Run will go to the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation to realize this vision and to support the mission of the Park.

From the flyer:

The beautiful and historic fire tower was erected in 1926 and was used by the community until the 1970’s. The County Parks operated the tower until the 1930’s when the NYS Conservation Department began its operations.

The tower, the only one of its kind in Westchester County, was a critical asset to the community as it served as a monitoring station for forest fires. According to a Westchester County government report from 1975 indicates that about 500 fires were reported from the tower between 1966 and 1968, with tower observers working with aerial support to pinpoint their locations.

The tower was decommissioned by the DEC in 1971 and was taken down without county approval several years later.

The view from the top of the tower was nearly 1000′ above sea level and afforded unobstructed 360 degree views including the Hudson Highlands, the Catskill Mountains, Long Island, and New York City. The tower also provided unparalleled views of the night sky.

You can help restore this historic landmark to the park in a few ways:

  1. Run with us in the Raven Rocks Run Sunday November 15th, 2015.
  2. Become a member of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation – you can join when you register for the race. If you can’t run you can go to the Membership page and join.
  3. Contact the Friends of Trailside via email to find out how you can support the rebuilding of the Fire Tower.

To see a one minute video of what the vista from the top of the tower would look like today, click here:

fire-tower-drone-video-cover-shot

The Towns of Bedford, Lewisboro and Pound Ridge are on record offering their support for the rebuilding of the Fire Tower.