Hickory Ridge Fire Tower

Area Status: Open
Hickory Ridge Fire Tower

The Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower, now standing guard over the Charles C. Deam Wilderness was once a sentinel built to protect a fledgling forest from wildfire. Today, it stands as a tribute to its builders, the last lookout tower remaining on the Hoosier National Forest. The Hickory Ridge Tower was built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). It was manned and used for fire detection until the 1970's. It is 110 feet tall, made of steel, with a 7 foot square cab and 133 metal steps. Originally there was a cabin or guard station, a latrine, and a garage built on the site. All but the tower have now been removed.

Click here for a downloadable flier on the lookout tower.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Parking is limited. Have a plan to visit another site or trail if this site is full.  If possible plan your visit during non-peak times such as mornings, and weekdays.  Due to the nature of the tower, social distancing can be challenging.
Fees: None
Permit Info: None
Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Bloomington, IN
Water: none
Restroom: none
Operated By: USFS, Brownstown Ranger District, 811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, IN 47421; Phone: 812-275-5987

General Information

Directions: Take State Route 446 south from State Route 46 out of Bloomington and turn at Tower Ridge Road. This is the road that has a sign for the Charles C. Deam Wilderness and the Maumee Boy Scout Camp. It is a gravel road. The tower is about 5 miles down this road on the left. GPS Coordinates: Lat- 39o 2' 5.453"N Long- 86o 19' 16.532"W

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Viewing Scenery

The Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower is 110 feet tall, made of steel, with a 7 foot square cab and 123 metal steps. If you climb it, you get an amazing view of the Charles C. Deam Wilderness and can see all the way to Lake Monroe and approximately 20 miles in any direction. Most of the view is wooded forestland and the scene is beautiful in any season.

Special Feature Historic fire tower

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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