I went to Beacon Mountain yesterday, and the weather was perfect! At 1,611 feet(491 m), Beacon Mountain is the highest peak between New York City and the Catskill mountains. It is the highest point in the Hudson Highlands and so offers spectacular views of the Hudson valley. On a clear day, you can see for 75 miles from its summit. From the fire tower on top of Beacon Mountain, if you look south on a clear day you can even see the Manhattan skyline, which is 50 miles south. Look closely at the horizon toward the middle of the picture below(which is a zoom in of the same view of the picture taken above – not a zoom in of the same picture), and a little toward the left, and you can sort of see the skyscrapers of New York City.
The photo below shows the skyscrapers a little better.
I tried joggling up Beacon Mountain on the main trail leading to the top, but couldn’t get very far because of how steep and rocky it was. I was reduced to running and then reduced to doing running/walking intervals. There really isn’t any actual “climbing” involved, unless you want to climb this thing off the main trails where it is much steeper. It was much easier joggling down the mountain, and managed to do this 60% of the way down. I took many short breaks while up there to take pictures, to juggle and of course to eat and drink. Due to all the hill running I do, my legs aren’t all sore from this steep run/walk. Years ago I probably would have had trouble walking for a week after doing something like this.
It is called Beacon Mountain because it was used during the Revolutionary War for setting signal fires to alert the continental army of British troop movements. In fact, Beacon Mountain and the surrounding Hudson Highlands were so important to the revolutionary cause that if they didn’t exist, or the British had managed to take them, Queen Elizabeth would probably be our Head of State today. Or at least that’s what the historical markers below the mountain want us to believe.
Beacon Mountain is actually made up of 2 main peaks, the North peak, and the South peak. The South peak is the higher one(1,611 ft), and this is where I took most of the photos from and where the fire tower is located. These two peaks are pretty close to each other, so its easy to go up one, then down a little, then follow the trail to go up the other, though the North peak is more easily accessible from the main parking area below.
If anyone knows what species of bird that is in the photo below, please tell me in the comments.
It was a little cold and windy up there, but I can handle the cold better than the heat. I highly recommend running up this mountain to train for the hilly Yonkers Marathon.