Hike to Hickory Flats Firetower

1091-1111 Elklick Road - Search Nearby - Added by Drew Wright

This hike is a hidden gem and provides unobstructed 360 degree sweeping views of the surrounding landscape!

To find the starting point navigate straight to the marker pin. At the end of the paved road, a gravel road will start. Just a couple hundred feet up the gravel road on the left there is a gate. Park infront of the gate (not in the road). Vehicles are not permitted but the Daniel Boone National Forest welcomes foot traffic past this point! Lock up your car, grab your gear and walk around the gate and continue up the gravel road for about a half mile until you reach the top of the hill. This part can get a little tiresome on a hot day so take a break if necessary! Once you reach the top of the hill continue on the gravel road some more and after about 300 feet it will start going downhill again, continue a bit further from here downhill. There will be two spots where the road forks off to the left and turns to dirt. This is the trickiest part. The dirt road you want to take is the second dirt road, just before the gravel road bends to the right. Take the second dirt road and stay to the right. This road goes UPHILL (this road forks off again to the left and goes downhill, don't go this way.) Though this can be a little tricky, just remember "Dirt road, goes uphill" as the firetower is at the main top of the hill. (If you're still having trouble, you will most likely have cell service. Pull out your phone and do a quick check on google maps. you should be able to see the road you need to take as well as the cabin on top of the hill.) Once you're on this road continue back up the hill for 0.1 miles until you reach the top. When you get there you will be greeted by the Hickory Flats Firetower and the Outpost Cabin. You are more than welcome to ascend the steps and take in the view from the top! 

Hickory Flats FIretower is one of two firetowers in the area. The other tower, Tater Knob Tower, is currently closed to the public after it was badly damaged by a fire. The Hickory Flats Firetower was built by the US Forest Service and sits at 80ft tall with a 7'x7' wooden cab on the top with windows all around. It is registered with the National Historic Lookout Register (NHLR) and is a wonderful piece of history that is there to be protected, respected, and enjoyed! 

If you are hiking this is the summer, be cautious when you enter the cab at the top as there could possibly be a wasp nest in the eves of the cab! 


1.2 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

435 ft Gain




Running, Hiking


Nearby Lodging

Ashland / Huntington West KOA

Ashland, Kentucky

Huntington / Fox Fire KOA

Milton, West Virginia

Community Photos

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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Overall rating: 

Awesome Photo Op

Description is accurate. This is a fun, intermediate level hike. Best piece of national park history.


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