Mount Beacon via Notch Trail to Wilkinson Memorial Trail

HARD 5 reviews

Mount Beacon via Notch Trail to Wilkinson Memorial Trail is a 6.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Beacon, New York that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,440 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

historic site

If you want to get to the Beacon fire tower and the old casino site, but you're tired of crowded parking lots and trails, this loop provides an alternative. Start at a small parking area on NY Rte 9D, just south of Dutchess Junction. Take the Notch Trail (blue), which, in a short while, parallels a ravine. From the trail, you can look down (foliage permitting) onto a a waterfall. After about 1.25 miles (just after a sharp right turn), turn left off the Notch Trail on a well-defined old woods road. Stay on this road (passing occasional viewpoints to the west) until it ends at the Casino Trail (red). Turn left, and, in about 100 yards, you'll be at the site of the historic old casino (great views to the west and northwest). Be sure to visit the small red-brick building which houses the engine which used to hoist an incline railway up the steep slope of Mt. Beacon. Retrace your steps and then keep going on the Casino Trail for about 0.8 miles, where you take a right at an obvious intersection with the old route of the Breakneck Ridge Trail. This takes you to the fire tower. After enjoying the incredible 360º view, descend via the newer route of the Breakneck Ridge Trail (white). Where it ends, take a right turn onto the Casino Trail. When the latter ends (although the woods road it's following continues!), take a right on the Wilkinson Trail (yellow). At the point where the Notch Trail (blue) comes in from the left, stay straight, following the Notch Trail (through various twists and turns) back to your starting point.

hiking
1 month ago

A welcome change of pace from the usual Mt. Beacon trail, which is over-used and always crowded. Hiked on a December weekend and only ran into other people at the summit. The trail does make up for it in length though, so only hike when you have 3-4 hours to spare.

The unmarked woods trail at 1.3 miles is a little hard to spot. The blue trail will turn right and immediately pass a stone wall. You can now turn left onto the woods trail which follows the eastern side of the stone wall.

If you want an extra challenge and don't mind a little rock scrambling, take the loop counter-clockwise and use the White trail on the final approach for South Beacon. This will lead you to a rewarding viewpoint 10 minutes before you reach the summit.

hiking
2 months ago

Great, generally lightly traveled route to the casino and fire tower

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago