South Beacon Mountain Firetower and Scofield Ridge

Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve

Beacon reservoir from fire tower - Photo: Daniel Chazin Beacon reservoir from fire tower - Photo: Daniel Chazin

This hike climbs to the firetower atop the summit of South Beacon Mountain and follows the Scofield Ridge, passing many panoramic viewpoints over the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains.

41.493547, -73.959854

This hike begins with a steady, steep climb of 1,000 feet of elevation in the first mile, and the overall elevation gain exceeds 2,000 feet. It is not an easy hike, but the spectacular views that it affords are ample reward for the strenuous ascents. Much of the land traversed by the hike has been protected through the efforts of Scenic Hudson, which preserves open space in the Hudson River...

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Trip Reports

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September 27, 2015
Really nice hike, very well described... thanks
<p>I've done this hike a few times now at different times of year and really like it. &nbsp;I can usually easily do it in the estimated time but today I got stuck behind several (counted 5 in total) different slow moving jeeps who were with me on and off all the way up to the firetower, which slowed me down quite a bit. &nbsp;Will probably avoid this route in the Fall if off roading is normally this popular...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="jeep on firetower trail" width="512" height="288"></p>
April 16, 2015
A Fantastic Hike.
<p>&nbsp; Thanks for the description, Daniel.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; I did it yesterday, and it was just gorgeous.&nbsp; It's my 4th or 5th time on this route, but it doesn't lose anything with repeated use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; As you guys say, the Scofield Ridge portion is always completely deserted, which I love.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; Thought I'd mention that I've measured it three times now, and I get right around 7.0 miles every time.</p> <p>&nbsp; Also right around 2400 feet of climb, all told.&nbsp; (Starting and ending at the gate just above the Beacon Mt. parking lot.)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; Also, folks should be forewarned that long stretches are not well-marked, and it's very easy to get very lost in certain areas.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; The connecting stretch of Yellow, that takes you from the White trail down the brook back across to the Red Casino trail you ascended, has at least two forks which are totally unmarked, and brutally confusing.</p> <p>&nbsp; (If I remember correctly, you have to go right (downhill) at the first, and left (uphill) at the second, to bring you back into Casino, a short distance above the top of the staircase.)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; Thanks again.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; S</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
August 18, 2014
South Beacon Mountain hike
<p>Your comment inspired me to rehike this trail yesterday -- for the first time since I wrote the hike description eight years ago. &nbsp;This is a really fantastic hike -- one of the very best in the entire New York metropolitan area. &nbsp;The restored Mount Beacon Fire Tower is a highlight of the hike, but there are many other spectacular viewpoints, spread throughout the hike. Your observation that most people go up to the casino site on the Casino Trail and then come down the same way is definitely correct. &nbsp;I did meet four people on the second part of the hike, but I must have encountered about 100 people on the Casino Trail leading up to the fire tower. I should also point out that the second part of the hike is mostly on attractive footpaths, while the Casino Trail, for the most part, follows a wide and relatively unattractive woods road. &nbsp;I have revised the hike description and brought it up to date. &nbsp;Thanks again for your review of the hike!</p>
Daniel Chazin
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