Access to the Beech Mountain hiking trails is from the Echo Lake parking area or from Beech Hill Road located on the western side of the mountain. We took Beech Hill Road and opted for the shorter route up but had a steeper climb. On the way down we took the longer gradual decline where we saw more wildlife, streams, forest and rock formations which included little caves along the way.
The observation fire tower was once a wooden tower constructed by the men who lived at the Civilian Conservation Corps camps on Mount Desert Island. The fire tower used between 1941 and the mid 1950s. Because of weather the wooden one was deteriorating, so the original tower was replaced by a steel tower in 1962. The tower was manned during day hours by Rangers until 1976, then it was no longer used at all. They did have a day that was open to the public which we missed. The top level is locked but the stairs to the first platform is open for viewing.