Distance: 2 or 4 miles
Skill Level: difficult
Elevation Gain: 1500′
Type of Hike: out-and-back
Trail Condition: gravel, rocky, metal stairs, trail
Wow Factor: amazing views, climbable firetower, and self-satisfaction
How to get there: The parking lot is at the corner of 9D and Howland Ave in a bend in the road. Its about 3 miles south of 84 and 6 miles north of 301.
Address to get you close: 785 Wolcott Ave, Beacon, NY 12508
Summary: From the parking area, head pass the kiosk and up the gravel road. This is the easiest part and it still uphill the whole way.
Pretty soon, you will come to the stairs. Gadzooks the stairs! Two hundred stairs to start you hike. Get to the top and realize the hike’s not over, it’s barely a quarter of a mile in.
Catch your breath as you head left on the first switchback. Follow the red trail back and forth up the mountain, passing the yellow early on.
At a mile, you’ll come to the old casino ruins. There is a massive iron wheel inside the half a brick building. Following past, there are all the old foundations and amazing views of the Hudson and the 84 bridge. Follow out to the far side for views of the mountains. This is a great spot to picnic and take a break. There are a few little mounds for kids to climb and a large open area to play. Be careful at the edges–there are railings in certain spots but they are not baby proof.
You could turn back here and make it two miles or keep going to the fire tower and make it four. You’ve already climbed over 1000 feet and the fire tower is ONLY another 500′. Worth it.
When you’re ready, follow the red trail away from the river. You can actually see the tiny tower on top of the mountain. There will be a very short distance where you’re not going uphill but don’t worry, it starts back up soon enough.
Follow red past some old car bodies and over boulders. The trail is nicely shaded but not much to see. At one open spot, there are hundreds of cairns which is pretty cool.
At almost 2 miles from the start, there will be an unmarked, well used path to the right that goes up over exposed bedrock and straight up to the tower. If you can’t find it, go a little further and go right on white. This is a narrow trail that takes you to the top.
Pick your way up over boulders to the bottom of the tower and start your assent. If you walked all the way up here, you have to climb it.
Head back the down the way you came.
Dogs: on leash