If you are looking to get in a good workout and want an instant reward for your efforts, Mt. Beacon is what you have been looking for. The hardest mile in the Hudson Valley gets you to the summit of Mt. Beacon from where you are rewarded with some of the best views of the Hudson Valley. For the warm up portion of the hike, you start with climbing about 150 steps. The main course involves hiking up steadily through a series of switch backs. Unlike some of the other challenging hikes in the area, Mt. Beacon can be conquered by most reasonably fit people. It is a steady up hill climb that you can navigate at your own pace with breaks sprinkled in and there isin’t any rock scrambling involved. There aren’t too many great views til you get up near the summit, but the views from the summit make up for it!
On a clear day you can see all the way upto the Catskills on the northern front and New York City on the southern front. The Newburgh Beacon bridge, Storm King, Bannerman Island, Dennings Point, and a lego like view of Beacon are some of the highlights of what you can see from the top. You can see the remnants of the old casino and what remains of the Beacon Incline Railway. The Beacon Incline Railway was a major tourist attractions in the early 20th century and burned down in the 1980’s. The Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society is working on restoring it. Hiking another mile will lead you to a recently restored fire tower offering more stunning views. It should take an average person about 35 – 45 minutes to get to the summit of Mt. Beacon and another 20 – 30 minutes to get back to the parking lot. Make sure to wander around the summit to take in the views from all the lookout points. Some of the best views are not from the most obvious lookout spots. Watch out for loose rock and pebbles on your way down!
DIRECTIONS & PARKING
The trail head starts from a spacious parking lot that is maintained by Scenic Hudson. The lots fill quickly on nice weekend days though. So get there early! To find the parking lot, plugin in 777 Wolcott Ave, Beacon, NY 12508 into your GPS.