Digital World of Photography - Lessons, shows, meet ups, classes
Location: Mount Beacon Park, Beacon, Dutchess county
HikeHike: steep climbs, rough terrain and/or long distancesScenic viewScenic views from trails or roadsRuinsOld foundations / ruins / lost historyWoodland TrailsWoodland TrailsDog friendlyDog frienldy, bring a leash

The trail up Mount Beacon is steep, but occassional switchbacks make the aerobic workout manageable. The hike actually begins on a staircase following the course of the Beacon Incline Railway, in the early 20th century the world's steepest funicular and one of the Hudson Valley's prime tourist attractions. (The Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society is working to return the ride, destroyed in a 1983 fire, to its former glory.) Observation platforms atop the stairs preview the treat awaiting those who reach the summit sublime vistas stretching from the Hudson Highlands to the Catskill Mountains. After a rest, you can explore the ruins of the incline railway's powerhouse or follow a short trail leading to a monument commemorating a signal fire built atop the mountain during the Revolutionary War. It was one of many beacons, spanning from the Highlands into New Jersey, intended to warn of British troop movements. (This one gave the mountain and city their names.) The adventurous can hike to Scenic Hudson's adjacent Fishkill Ridge, whose rugged trails afford long-range glimpses of the Highlands and even Manhattan's skyline. And a mile from the summit is the newly restored Mount Beacon fire tower, where on a clear day you can see from the Big Apple to Albany.

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