DUNMORE, W.Va. (WBOY) — Did you know that there is a fire tower that you can rent for overnight stays in West Virginia? And National Geographic says it’s one of the best places to stay to be close to nature.
The Thorny Mountain Fire Tower in Seneca State Forest near Dunmore in Pocahontas County, West Virginia was included on National Geographic‘s list of the “10 places to embrace the wild without pitching a tent.” It is the only reservable fire tower east of the Mississippi, according to Dyrt. The tower was built in 1930 as lodging for rangers who scanned the surrounding Greenbrier Valley for fires but was renovated into tourist lodging in 2015.
At 65-feet tall at the top of its 69 steps, the tower offers 360 degree views of the forest and unobstructed views of the sky, according to West Virginia State Parks. It has been refurbished, and with two cots, it can accommodate up to four guests. The cabin is powered by a solar battery storage system, and the bathrooms are a toilet pit at the bottom of the stairs.
If you want to stay in the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower, WV State Parks recommends booking a year in advance. It is already fully booked up for 2023.
A WV State Parks representative told 12 News that the price of a stay varies, but in the past two years, a stay in the fire tower has ranged between $112 and $168 per night. The representative said that those prices could increase next year depending on demand. Keep in mind that the cabins at Seneca State Forest are only available to book from April to October each year.
Although a stay in the tower is hard to get, it’s not necessarily new. Back in 2015, right after it was renovated, WV State Parks gave away a one-night stay in the tower as part of a contest, and it has been available to rent each summer since.