The Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower, tower kiosk and picnic site are operated and maintained for your enjoyment by the Township of Algonquin Highlands. The lookout tower, located off Highway 35 just north of the village of Dorset, was originally built in 1922, was 25 metres high (82 feet) and used as a fire lookout tower. That original tower was became obsolete in 1962 when aircraft replaced towermen, but folks still climbed it just for the view! As a result, the current tower was built in 1967 and is 30 metres high (100 feet); it also includes a staircase, a much better alternative than the interior ladder of the original.
Annually, 60,000 vehicles will pass through the gates. In the peak Autumn season, it is not unusual for more than 600 vehicles to visit the tower in a single day. Visitors are welcome to climb to the observation deck which is 142 metres (465 feet) above Lake of Bays. Facilities include an extensive picnic site, restrooms, a tourist information kiosk, a gift shop and a hiking trail. The Tower is a “use at own risk” attraction.