Mount Beacon via Notch Trail to Wilkinson Memorial Trail

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Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve

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 rated as moderate. 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.

Length6.8 miElevation gain1,440 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingForestRiverViewsWaterfallRockyScrambleHistoric site
Description
Waypoints (7)

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.

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Reviews (102)
Photos (1,728)
Activities (104)
Completed (165)
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Kevin Dry
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Hiking

Great hike. Great views, water crossings and plenty of rocks!

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Carleen Krajeski
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Hiking

My app said it was 8.1, My sis in law said 7.1 and my husbands said 6.18.... sooo lol It was beautiful throughout the entire walk

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Nekisia Davis
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Hiking

Very quiet Friday morning hike. Snow is melting so trail is flooded in places and a bit muddy. You have to play rock hopscotch along the way when streams cross the path. The first third of the way you’re walking near streams of water with occasional waterfalls - really nice to listen to along the way. Views from the top were amazing! Fire tower views even better :) Fun scramble on the way down. Very gradual ascent and descent. Only saw 4 people all day! Hike is more like 8 miles though..

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Christopher Wong
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Nadia Itani
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Hiking

Great walk with the pup. She’ll be sleeping all day

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Tara McLaughlin
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HikingGreat!
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Maria Tomaszycki
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HikingRocky
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Eric Calhoun
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Hiking

Moderate not hard

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Mike Lettiere
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Hiking

Good blend of easy walks and downhill scramble.

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Ed Her
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Maria Barretta
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HikingGreat!

So when the trail forked we went left. We decided to go up to the abandoned power house first then the Fire tower . I will agree with the other reviews, when they say it was a moderate trail , definitely not hard. Pretty basic trails , couple of altitude gains with rocks , but no scrambles . I would say a beginner with a couple of hikes under his/her belt could do this . The Abandoned power house is a must see along with the view of the Hudson River . Continue on to the Fire Tower , very easy to miss so be careful , there is a little rock scramble up . Worth the little effort . The view on top is stunning . Just when you thought it could not get any better it does. Climb the Fire Tower to the top, it does get harder as you get to the top because the tower starts getting narrower . Take it from someone who is petrified of heights , just take deep breathes and take it slow , don’t look down !! Once at the top you might be able to see NYC, brought a warm feeling to my butter flied stomach . Views are even more amazing up there. Because we wanted a challenge we veered of the AllTrails suggested route and took Breakneck ridge (white trail) down , then after a little off trail hiking we picked up old yellow trail then back on ALL Trails suggested trail back to our car. Remember as long as you have the app (pro version ) you can pretty much make up your trail . All in all it was a decent trail with good views , but I am an adrenaline junky and wanted a more challenging route .

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Wenhan Li
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Jason Taylor
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Samantha Victoria
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Art Torres
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Hiking

Not bad, wish it were steeper

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Clareena Macchia
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Hiking

Really good hike and not too strenuous. We bypassed Beacon Tower as it was too crowded. Besides been there many times. Bugs were a nuisance but I used a branch to shoo them.; don’t like to poison the environment. Will be doing this again as we love the work out!. BTW we did the trail counter clockwise from right to left.

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Albert S
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Hiking

Moderate trail with majestic views. It’s a bit long and drawn out but the summit is rewarding.

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Lauren Martin
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HikingClosed

This trail and the rest of Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve is closed until further notice.

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Nicolás Alberto
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Hiking

Great hike! Do it early in the AM to avoid people!

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kirk ceballos
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Hiking

Trail was full of dirt bikers and atvs ?! Almost was hit twice while hiking with my wife & 2 dogs, not a safe hike .

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Luis Sanchez
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Hiking

This was an excellent hike to help those get accustomed to gradually increasing elevation. After the leaving the blue marked trail in the beginning, the trail was a little tricky to follow. However, having the map really helped. Because of our minor detour, we managed to see two does and a six point buck! They blended perfectly with the brown environment save for the bits of white on their fronts and back. We also saw some woodpeckers working at some branches in the treetops. The views from one of the ridges overlooking a town and fire tower were amazing. There were some parts that contained sheets of ice, but that added to the adventure. This was a really good hike!!!

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Benedikt Kellner
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Hiking
First to Review

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

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Benedikt Kellner
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Maria Buondelmonte
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Lauren Mittelmann
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Benedikt Kellner
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Harvinder Singh
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Anette Murgalla-Hollmann
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Benedikt Kellner
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Benedikt Kellner
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