Middle Sister Groundhouse, Albany

Middle Sister Groundhouse (fire tower) on Middle Sister Mountain in Albany, New Hampshire.
Middle Sister Tower – Albany, New Hampshire

Middle Sister Groundhouse, New Hampshire – In operation from 1927-1948, the Middle Sister Groundhouse is a fire lookout tower located on Middle Sister Mountain, along Middle Sister Trail, near Mount Chocorua, in Albany, New Hampshire. A groundhouse fire tower differs from a typical fire tower in that the lookout cabin is built on the ground, not on top of a tower.

Today, the foundation remains intact and some odds and ends linked to the groundhouse can be found at the site. And a Forest Service radio repeater is inside the foundation, which can be seen in the above image. You can see what this fire tower looked like when it was still in operation here.

Sunset from Middle Sister Mountain in New Hampshire.
Middle Sister Tower – Albany, New Hampshire

As a photographer, I enjoy locations where I can shoot from sunrise to sundown, and all through the night, if need be. The area around the groundhouse and Mount Chocorua have endless possibilities that will keep any photographer busy for hours. I usually find interesting subject matter on every visit.

Mount Chocorua from Middle Sister Mountain in New Hampshire.
Mount Chocorua – Middle Sister Tower, New Hampshire

There are views in every direction from the Middle Sister Groundhouse, but the view towards Mount Chocorua (above) is awesome. If you have visited Mount Chocorua, but not the Middle Sisters I suggest you do so. The side profile of Mount Chocorua is impressive! It is one of my favorite views in the White Mountains. A cropped version of the above image is on the cover of my 2016 White Mountains calendar.

Search and Rescue helicopter flying over Middle Sister Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Middle Sister Tower – Albany, New Hampshire

One year, I was shooting along the Middle Sister Trail while a Blackhawk helicopter (above) was training in the area. The helicopter crew was practicing touch downs on the rocky terrain of the Middle Sisters. It was pretty cool watching them land so gently and perfectly on the rough terrain.

Star Trails over Middle Sister Fire tower on Middle Sister Mountain in Albany, New Hampshire.
Middle Sister Tower – Albany, New Hampshire

No matter if you are a photographer or a hiker, the Middle Sister Groundhouse site will interest you. Just keep in mind you can’t legally camp on the Middle Sisters. You have to go back below tree line, down the trail system, to find a legal spot or stay at one of the designated camp sites (Jim Liberty Cabin, Camp Penacook).

All of the above images can be licensed for publications by clicking on the image you are interested in, and you can view more landscape images from the Middle Sister Groundhouse site here.

Happy image making..


Update 2019: Since the writing of this blog article, the Forest Service radio repeater has been removed from the inside of the foundation.

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2 Responses to “Middle Sister Groundhouse, Albany”

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Thank you for sharing. The repeater has been inside the foundation for years. It must really stand out now. I will have to take a look the next time I’m in the area.


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