Fire Tower

Camp Wilderness: Historic Trails

Fire Tower

Park Rapids, Minnesota 56470, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University


Andy Kietzman, Camp Ranger, was approached by Dave Quam from Bemidji in 2006, to gauge interest in bringing a forest fire watch tower into the camp. Dave had ties to Scouting because he used to camp at Wabanaquat as a youth. With the rise of airplanes and radar fire watchtowers have been fading out over the past few decades. They used to be scattered all over the forests of Minnesota, but now they are being torn down for scrap metal.

Dave located and saved a fire tower in Bemidji that was going to be destroyed and turned into scrap. He got in touch with Steve Inkel at Diversified Builders who agreed to haul the tower to camp. Steve also set up the tower with a crane for the camp. Both of these services were provided free of charge because Steve and his family used to be very active in Scouting and have great respect for the program.

Ranger Andy and Dave Quam restored the tower and took action to preserve it from deterioration. Dave got the tower listed on the National Historic Lookout Regiser.

Scouts love climbing the tower during summer camp. They can see for miles in each direction just above the treeline, it also provides a great view of Bad Axe Lake.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Camp Wilderness: Historic Trails


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