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The Best Fire Towers to Explore in Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Visit some of the most beautiful fire towers with 360 degree views!

By: Jared Beeler + Save to a List

Fire towers are like a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered or an adventure waiting to be found. Fire towers once had a huge role in preventing wildfires but with new technology they have been long forgotten about. Since fire towers were built on the tallest peaks around they can offer a quite spectacular view that you may have never have known existed, even though some are right in your backyard. Fire towers can be especially amazing because they can add a special touch to your photography.

Most of the fire towers in Tennessee were built by the CCC, an organization started in the 1930's to create jobs during the great depression. During that time they created about 500, but some of them were later destroyed or torn down due to location. Those that are still standing are owned by the Department of Forestry. Those are all completely legal to go to, but some of them were lost and forgotten years ago so they can be hard to get to. Every fire tower is completely different from the next so going to them is a different experience every time, but the view is always incredible. 

Here are a few photos of some of my favorites in Tennessee:

The fire towers in North Carolina, however, are a bit different. They were mostly built in the 1960s and were built in a different fashion. Most of the towers built in North Carolina are bigger than the others and were at one time lived in by workers year-round. There are a lot of fire towers in western North Carolina that are all especially beautiful and some of them can be driven straight to or only have a short hike to reach. These fire towers are also some of the most beautiful. 

Here are some photos from the North Carolina fire towers:

Fire Towers are a small piece of our local history that everyone can visit and see and they also offer some of the best panoramic views. Some of the best fire towers are: 

Here are the maps that I used to find these towers. These maps are very old and it is best to use Google Earth to see if these towers still exist near you. 

Remember to always be courteous to others and their property because some of these fire towers can be very close to people's homes.  

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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