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AZURE MOUNTAIN FACTS AT A GLANCE
  • Located in the Town of Waverly, Franklin County, New York
  • Known locally by many as “Blue Mountain”
  • Azure Mountain is part of the Debar Mountain Wild Forest.
  • The 535 acre Azure Mountain parcel was purchased by the state in 1934 from Paul LeMieux.
  • The Azure Mountain section of Forest Preserve is surrounded by a privately owned hunting club. Most of the land beyond is now open to the public as part of the Santa Clara Tract.
  • Summit elevation: 2,518 feet
  • Elevation change from trailhead: 944 feet
  • Round trip hiking distance: 2 miles
  • 1914 - Fire Observation Station constructed of wood
  • 1918 - The present 35-foot Aerometer galvanized steel fire tower was erected in the summer at a cost of $530.  (Tower height is measured to the floor of the cab.)
  • 1978 - Tower was closed by the DEC and the lower two sets of stair risers removed to prevent tower access. The tower saw 60 years of “active” service.
  • At least 14 Fire Observers and 9 Forest Rangers have served the Azure Mountain area and its tower.
  • 1995 – DEC removes the Observer’s cabin built in 1936.  Three Observers cabins were constructed through the years: the first in 1914, the second (1919), and the third (1936) were across the stream from where the old stone fireplace presently stands.
  • 2001 - The Azure fire tower, and six other Adirondack towers (Arab, Blue, Hadley, Kane, Poko-O-Moonshine and Snowy), are accepted on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. (They are also on the NYS Historic Register.)  
  • At the time of this recognition, the Azure tower was the only one of the seven that had not been ‘restored.’
  • 2001 – The NYSDEC plans to remove the Azure tower from the summit in August as it is deemed ‘unsafe.’  This information, learned through a ‘chance’ phone conversation, led to a strong plea from the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) to ‘spare’ the tower.  The DEC agrees to ‘wait’ if a Friends group is quickly formed.  The Azure Mountain Friends (AMF), a group of North Country residents, is formed in the fall.         
  • 2002 - Tower ‘mostly’ restored in July with the hard work of DEC Forest Ranger personnel, DEC Operations Department, six AmeriCorps workers and numerous AMF volunteers.  All restoration work completed by fall 2002.  
  • 2003 – Sept. 27 – A “Restoration Celebration” – A Near Ending – A New Beginning ‘officially’ reopens the tower. 
  • 2011 – The Azure fire tower is now 93 years old. 
  • Azure Mountain is enjoyed by people of all ages with a variety of outdoor interests in all seasons of the year.  Estimates are that 8,000 to 10,000 people visit Azure annually.
  • Hiking, back-country skiing, snowshoeing, technical rock & ice climbing (on its steep southern cliffs), hunting, bird watching, plant & animal identification are all enjoyed here.
  • The distant wilderness vista of the High Peaks from the summit/tower cab is breathtaking.  Countless mountains, many of them high peaks, along with numerous water bodies, are seen near and far.  However, the wild forest and river that surrounds Azure's cliffs is another story – it represents over a 100 years of successful forest management that has protected and preserved landscapes, habitats, and species.


The Azure Mountain Friends, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization.