Beacon Mountain

Beacon Travel Blog

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The remains of the engine house for the Incline Railway

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.

The water reservoir. The fire tower at the South Summit is visible at the horizon in the center
Mountains like Dunderberg, Bear Mountain, Anthony's Nose, Storm King, and Sugar Loaf Hill are all part of the Hudson Highlands. Beacon Mountain is in fact a double mountain. It has a North Peak (467 m / 1531 ft) and a South Peak (491 m / 1610 ft). In between the peaks is the Summit station of the former railway as well as the city's water reservoir. The South Summit is home to a fire tower, the Mount Beacon Fire Tower.

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.
View on the water reservoir from the fire tower
Today I returned and decided to explore the mountain, the water reservoir, the fire tower, and some alternative trails.

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!

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The remains of the engine house fo…
The remains of the engine house f…
The water reservoir. The fire towe…
The water reservoir. The fire tow…
View on the water reservoir from t…
View on the water reservoir from …
On my way up, a nice view on the H…
On my way up, a nice view on the …
The remains of the engine house fo…
The remains of the engine house f…
The remains of the engine house fo…
The remains of the engine house f…
The remains of the engine for the …
The remains of the engine for the…
The remains of the engine for the …
The remains of the engine for the…
The remains of the foundation of t…
The remains of the foundation of …
The remains of one of the mountain…
The remains of one of the mountai…
The water reservoir. The fire towe…
The water reservoir. The fire tow…
The water reservoir
The water reservoir
View from the South Summit
View from the South Summit
View from the South Summit
View from the South Summit
Pretty scary floor in the fire tow…
Pretty scary floor in the fire to…
View from the fire tower
View from the fire tower
View on the water reservoir from t…
View on the water reservoir from …
View on the water reservoir from t…
View on the water reservoir from …
The fire tower
The fire tower
The hike as recorded by my GPS. (G…
The hike as recorded by my GPS. (…
The GPS profile of the hike
The GPS profile of the hike
Beacon
photo by: mdalamers