Fire Tower

Lowville Forestry Demonstration Area

Last Saturday I decided to make a trip to the Tug Hill Plateau and the Black River. I wanted to check out the Gomer Hill Fire Tower and Possibly the Number Four Fire Tower which now stands in Dadville. I was dissapointed that I couldn't climb Gomer Hill, but was quite taken by what I found in Dadville. All I knew was that somewhere in Dadville was a DEC Center. There, I read is the former Number Four Fire Tower as an exhibit. It used to stand near the hamlet Number Four on the way to Stillwater Reservoir. So I drove into Lowville and took route 812 into Dadville which was right on the Black River. I found the tower standing on the left. I climbed the tower and was happy to not only see a map table, but an Alidade. I have been to 32 Fire Towers and have not seen an Alidade yet. It's the rotating rod on the map table that helped obsevers locate the position of fires. Down below is a Observer's cabin. I found out later it was moved here from Gomer Hill. The surprises kept coming. The field around the tower had several blue bird boxes. Walking back to the parking area I was greeted by a species of warbler. From the parking area was a trail. I really had no idea how big of a place this was. I decided I had time to explore the area. There was Kiosk. It had diagrams to help identify birds. It was something right out of the Petersons Guide. It was obvious this was quite a nature center. After walking pass a hedge row the area opened up into a huge garden like place. There were so many species of trees and were labeled. This was a great place to learn. Bird houses lined the grid work of trails. I kept going and found that the habitats changed. To my left was a grassy field. Right in the middle was a Purple Martin House. It was perfectly positioned for them. Gray catbirds were using the hedge rows for cover. I wonder how many empidonax flycatchers can be found here. That's a special genus of birds that are hard to distinguish and each species lives in a different habitat. Furthur west was an area of conifer forest, then a marsh. All the different forests and habitats were brought together here. I even stumbled on a solar powered weather station. The DEC really did something wonderful here. When I got home I found out it's called the Lowville Forestry Demonstration Area.

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