In the Hudson Valley, few hikes compare to the exhilaration of Mt. Beacon Hiking Trail in Beacon, NY. The spectacular hike takes you to the highest point in Dutchess County and offers you amazing views of Newburgh, NY, and all the way to the Catskill Mountains on the horizon. Starting from a parking lot on Route 9D in Beacon, NY, this medium-intensity hiking trail goes all the way up to 1,611 feet above sea level.
Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Beacon for Breathtaking Hudson River Views – Exploring Hudson Valley with Photographer Maxwell Alexander
What to Know Before You Go
As you ascend and descend Mt. Beacon, you’ll be surrounded by acres of protected land. If you bring your dog along with you, they must remain on a leash at all times while hiking; dogs are not allowed off-leash in any protected areas in Dutchess County. Dogs should also have up-to-date rabies vaccinations before heading out into nature. While there is no fee to hike Mt. Beacon, you will need to get a spot in the parking lot on Wolcott Ave (the trailhead parking lot fills up quickly). The park service recommends starting early in order to beat traffic and crowds—and because it takes about four hours round trip!
Map Out Your Route
The Mt. Beacon Trailhead starts on Wolcott Ave and heads up Mt. Beacon’s western slope. Once you reach its summit, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of Newburgh—but don’t stop there! Continue your hike along the hiking trail until you reach its highest point: Mt. Beacon Fire Tower. Here, hikers are rewarded with views of the Hudson River, as well as neighboring peaks like Breakneck Ridge and Storm King Mountain. On a clear day, you could even see the skyscrapers of New York City on the horizon. From here, it’s easy to see why Mt. Beacon is considered one of the best hiking trails in the Hudson Valley.
Prepare For The Walk
Hike your way into a healthy lifestyle with these bug-repellent tips! Because what’s better than Mt. Beacon views? A bug-free hike! If you’re headed out in warmer months, make sure to bring a natural bug repellent, before heading out. They’ll keep you covered while you explore one of our favorite hiking trails in Hudson Valley!
No matter your level of hiking experience, everyone agrees that Mt. Beacon is a medium-intensity climb compared to other peaks in our region, such as Break Neck Ridge and Bear Mountain, which at some points of the trail could get really hardcore. The summit offers breathtaking views of Newburgh and is part of a bigger trail network with a connection to the Appalachian Trail that goes over Bear Mountain Bridge.
Don’t Forget To Rest
Hiking up Mt. Beacon might sound intimidating, but if you pace yourself and take rests in between, it shouldn’t be too difficult a climb. Be sure to bring enough water and wear appropriate clothing so that you stay hydrated and don’t suffer from heat exhaustion during your hike. Don’t forget your camera! You won’t want to miss capturing some beautiful shots of the Beacon Reservoir at sunset or watching a majestic sunrise over the Hudson Valley.
Pack appropriate clothing, water, food, and hiking shoes or boots before you head out on a hike (clothing that you can layer so that you can adjust as it gets colder or warmer). Check out my favorite canvas duffel bag/backpack by HARD NEW YORK that fits all of my hiking and photo gear perfectly. You might want to bring a map along with your phone so that you’re able to see where you are: the cell service is great with a bunch of communications towers right on top of the Mt. Beacon; consider bringing gloves and waterproof gear if it’s going to be raining while you’re on your hike too.
A typical hiking trip should consist of two liters (that’s about four 16-ounce bottles) of water and a mixture of low-sugar, high-electrolyte sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade. Bring a full water bottle with you on your hike and drink some before you begin your trek up Mt. Beacon.
Enjoy the Views!
It’s no secret that hiking to a mountain summit is going to be grueling, but if you’re equipped with an iron will and can visualize how amazing it will feel when you reach your goal, you’ll have a greater chance of making it up. The reward totally worth it and you will create unforgettable memories that you might want to repeat all over again during your visit to the beautiful Hudson Valley.