Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend Wanderings - Hiking Mount Beacon

After visiting Becky and her adorable twins on Friday, I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to tie on my hiking boots and meet Rob and Cece upstate to hike Mount Beacon. (If you're local to the Hudson Valley, you're going to want to check out that link - they have some really incredible hikes on there, and their guides are all very easy to follow.)

The hikers!

Rob was all, "Why did you wear hiking boots?" And I was all "I heard this mother is really steep."

And steep it was. But, fortunately, easy to follow, and not like, "rock climbing" steep. Just normal "walking in the woods" steep. The trail starts with about four flights of stairs, and I still believe that climbing them was one of the hardest parts of the whole hike. (I can run 13.1 miles without too much trouble, but walking up two flights of stairs gets me winded every evening.) The path was very clearly marked, and there were plenty of other people spending their afternoons on the trail, so it didn't take too long for us to stumble upon the Wheelhouse.

About a mile into the trail, the Wheelhouse greets you at the top of what was once the funicular. Built in 1902, it originally brought tourists to see the lovely view at the top, and in the 1920s, a casino and hotel was built there as well. In 1982, after years of declining ridership, it burned down. There's now a little movement to see it preserved and restored, which I think would be very cool, though I'm even happier to walk up.

View from the Wheelhouse

Me near the Casino ruins

From there, we decided to continue the hike, mostly because we didn't realize we were actually at the casino ruins. We wandered up and up, even further, making a few wrong turns until we found the trail again (it's the red one, not the orange one, FYI), and headed another mile or so up to the firetower.

Cece and Rob were brave enough to climb to the top:

But I wussed out and enjoyed the view from the third flight and the ground. And it was beautiful:

After hiking back down, Rob said, "I can see why you might have wanted to wear hiking boots for this." It was definitely a bit tougher than we'd thought it would be, but I had such a blast. The views were just gorgeous, and I can't think of a better way to have spent the afternoon. We walked around the town of Beacon afterward, which has some adorable shops and restaurants. Then, we  drove back down south and grabbed dinner and awesome coffee IPAs at Peekskill Brewery before heading home. It was a perfect day. I can't wait to join Cece this weekend to hike at Mohonk!

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