Beacon Travel Blog› entry 685 of 1090 › view all entries
It had been almost exactly one year and a quarter of a year since I first visited the site of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway. This site was once the home of a remarkable funicular train, the steepest of its time. The area of the summit station of the train housed a hotel and a casino. A series of tragic fires burnt the Hotel, the Casino, and finally also the railway. For some nice vintage pictures of the hotel, casino and railroad see my previous blog here! There are still plans to restore the railway, see the site of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Society. I really hope that they will succeed. The area is nicely managed by the Scenic Hudson Organization which also maintains hiking trails.
Beacon Mountain is the highest peak of the Hudson Highlands, a series of mountains on both shores of the Hudson River.
When I first visited the site I spent a lot of time investigating the remains of the rail tracks, the foundation of the hotel and some decaying mountain cabins on the mountain.
The weather was excellent so the mountain was pretty busy. It was somewhat frustrating to see that after climbing 300 meters I found cars at the old Hotel Site. The former hotel's old service road is apparently open for 4WD vehicles.
The old decaying cabins at the edge of the mountain had steadily decayed in the past 1.25 year. I am curious when the structures of the remaining cabins will finally collapse. The reservoir looked like a pleasant mountain lake. After climbing an additional 120 meters I arrived at the South Summit. No crowds here.... But I also found the tower closed, because of restoration works. Two other hikers were so bold to step over the chain that apparently closed the staircase. Since the tower could apparently support these two guys I dared to make my way up after they descended. I was rewarded with a brilliant view.
More pictures below!