Working to turn


We were hoping that the construction of the fire tower would begin in May, but there have been delays in the permitting process, and we are now aiming for construction to begin in late summer/early fall.

When we applied for our building permit, the Delhi Town Code Officer required several variances and so referred our application to the State Codes Committee.

Having our application go to the state committee was an unforeseen delay, but the Chair of the State Codes Committee has been extremely helpful in pinpointing the steps needed to be granted the variances. Another hearing on the variances will happen in mid-July, and, once we are granted the variances, we are hopeful that The Town of Delhi can process our building permit application quickly.

We are now aiming for tower construction to begin in August or September, and we will keep you posted.


We are now recruiting Tower Stewards who will staff the tower on weekends, from opening day until Indigenous Peoples Day.  We have a number of enthusiastic volunteers already signed up, but we need more.  

Are you interested in serving one or more weekend days this summer on the summit of Bramley Mountain, greeting visitors to the new tower?  If you’d like to join our group of Tower Stewards, please email us at and let us know.  More information can be found on our Tower Steward page ….and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

We have met the recent generous matching challenge from William and Katharine Aubrey! Thank you to everyone who helped us over the finish line and to Bill and Katharine for their generosity and support!

Livestock matching gift challenge achieved! A big thank you to everyone who helped us earn this $5,000 gift!

To help raise the final 10% and to bring the project to the finish line, the Livestock Foundation has pledged a $5,000 matching donation to the effort. We’ re so thankful for their support and hope you’ll help us meet this match!


These high quality, fleece lined hats are selling for the amazingly low price of $20!

It is not too early to start thinking about the holidays, and we guarantee that anyone who loves the outdoors will be absolutely thrilled to receive one of these hats as a holiday gift. Last year’s caps sold out fast, so get yours while they last. Buy online here or Main Street Card and Gifts at 96 Main Street in Delhi.

Wicking shirts are $25, including tax and shipping. Buy online here.


December 1, 2023 Press Release

Over the past two months, The Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Project has taken many positive steps forward.

In October, the A. Lindsay and Olive O’Connor Foundation approved a $10,000 grant towards the construction of the fire tower. 

On November 8th, the owners of EIGHTYMAIN, James Arafut and Will Johnson, put on a fundraising dinner for the tower.  At the dinner, a tasting menu which featured dishes using flora and fauna that can be found on Bramley Mountain was served.  Over 40 people attended the dinner, and over $2500 was raised for the tower.

During the first half of November, NYC DEP workers improved the Summit Trail Road, a former logging road so that the fire tower components and the equipment needed to build the tower can get up the mountain more easily.  They also cleared the summit area to make room for the construction of the tower.  Finally, they built a second parking lot just uphill of the existing trailhead and parking area on Glen Burnie Road. 


FUNDRAISER AT EIGHTYMAIN was a most enjoyable success!

We want to give a big thank you to James Arufat and Will Johnson for dreaming up and putting on this extraordinary event at EIGHTYMAIN restaurant in Delhi. James and Will and their staff put on a fundraising dinner for the tower on November 8th. At the dinner, a tasting menu which featured dishes using flora and fauna that can be found on Bramley Mountain was served. The tasting menu was creative and, most importantly, delicious. The staff at EIGHTYMAIN could not have been any more friendly or attentive. Over 40 people attended the dinner, and over $2500 was raised for the tower. There was an amazing amount of positive energy, and many fire tower supporters who had never met discovered that there were surprising connections between them.

We are excited to report that Delaware County Supervisors have voted to work with us on restoring the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower! We have a lot to do, but we are planning on construction in 2024! Read more about it here

We’ve been asked why does it cost so much to return the tower to Bramley Mountain when we already have all the parts of the tower and they are in good shape? Good question!  Here are some of the things we need to pay for to restore and reconstruct the tower :

  • 12 to 14 cross brace pieces that have pack rust because of insufficient galvanizing at the time of the original construction need to be replaced
  • All tower components need to be picked up from the Clark Farm and brought to a facility to be sand blasted to remove the old paint and then hot dip galvanized to insure they will withstand the elements for decades to come. Of course, they then need to be transported back to Delhi.
  • New supporting footers need to be constructed for the tower
  • All bolts and fasteners will be replaced with new ones to insure strength and safety
  • Wooden stair treads and landings will be replaced with non-skid metal treads and landings, again for safety as well as for longevity
  • Safety fencing needs to be purchased for each flight of stairs
  • We also need to pay for labor and equipment to transport the tower components and other materials to the top of the mountain and to do the reconstruction work.


Fire Tower History
When one takes in the view of the Catskill forest from a fire tower in 2020, they see a heavily forested, lush, green and healthy landscape. That was not the case in the early 1900’s. At that time, the Catskill landscape consisted of farm buildings, homes and businesses that were built of wood and heated with wood. The logging business and the tanning industry were working in the forest, harvesting trees and bark on a daily basis. Communication systems were poor, with the telephone in its infancy. Transportation was still by foot, horse, and rail. Trains passed through the forests with coal sparks flying from their stacks and from the wheels on the rails. This scene was played out throughout New York State. read more.....

Bramley’s tower was closed at the end of 1970, and in 1975 the DEC sold the tower for $50 to a local dairy farmer, Pete Clark, of Delhi. Mr. Clark and his helpers took the tower down with great care, saving all parts and even coding many as to their placement. The Clarks hoped to put the tower up on a hill on their farm, but they were never able to accomplish this.

In 1997, a group of Delhi and Bovina residents formed the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Club, in the hope of restoring the tower to Bramley Mountain. The group raised funds with the goal of purchasing the summit parcel and right-of-way on the old access road as the first steps in their project, but they were unable to come to an agreement with the parcel’s owner. In the end, the funds raised were donated instead to the restoration of the Mt. Utsayantha tower. read more ….

The Bramley Mountain Trail is one of the most popular hiking options in the western Catskills. It was designed and built by the Catskill Mountain Club, in partnership with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.  Located on a NYCDEP parcel in the Towns of Delhi and Bovina, it totals about 4 miles in length.  The complete loop visits the 2817’ summit with its site of a former fire tower, a beautiful abandoned bluestone quarry, and the impressive cliffs and caves that lie between. read more ….

We will be using people counters/trail counters to collect trail usage data. This data will help us understand the usage of the trail including most popular days and times and will allow us to understand the impact the Fire Tower has on the usage of the trail. We will be using TRAFx Infrared Trail Counters.

About Us

The Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower

The Friends are an all-volunteer 501c3 corporation, formed to restore and reconstruct the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower which was decommissioned by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 1970 and removed in 1975. The Friends will also be responsible for managing the tower once returned to the summit of Bramley Mountain, handling any needed maintenance and providing stewards who will staff the tower on weekends from Memorial Day through Indigenous People’s Day, stewards will be present at the summit. The stewards will provide Historical information about the tower, Basic outdoor education and Information about the surrounding area.

Among those agreeing to serve on the Friends’ board of directors are Ann Roberti, who will serve as president. Ann shepherded the project through the approval stages with Rick Roberts, who will serve as Vice-President. They are joined by Amy Beveridge, David DeForest, Wendell George, Jillienne LaFever, Laurie Rankin, John Sandman, Jeff Senterman and Doug Sluiter.

Read more about the Project Participants

Read more about the history of the Fire Tower

Read more about our generous major supporters



(This is the most recent news. Click the News Link in the menu bar to see the all the news about the project.)

Ryan Naatz joins the Friends of Bramley Mountain Club board.

With a personal passion for the outdoors and an extensive conservation easement background, Ryan has dedicated his career to finding the balance between the economic, environmental and political stresses that farm and forest communities face. The Fire Tower exemplifies projects that find that balance. Ryan is the Executive Director of the Watershed Agricultural Council and …

We are excited to report that Delaware County officials have voted to work with Friend of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower! We are planning for construction in late spring/early summer 2024!

The Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower, would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Delaware County Board of Supervisors Chair Tina Mole, the Board of Supervisors, and Glenn Nealis, Director of Economic Development for their significant efforts and support to get the fire tower project back on track. We are very excited to …

Delhi Town Board votes against agreement with NYC for Fire Tower Project

On Monday, February, 13th, after three members of the Friends of the Fire Tower Board (accompanied by dozens of supporters) had presented strong supporting statements, the Delhi Town Council voted 3-2 against signing the required agreement with NYC/DEP to return the Fire Tower to Bramley Mountain. The only explanation we have received for this vote …


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Fill out the form below to be added to the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower’s email list, to get more detailed news on the progress of the fire tower project and to learn about volunteer opportunities. Volunteers will be needed throughout the project, to assist with fundraising, to help sort the components of the tower for inspection, painting components, assistance during construction as well as work afterwards staffing the cabin for visitors.

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