Explore the most popular hiking trails near Beacon with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Pros: 5 star view, connections to several other trails, new parking area, some historical relics of the old casino and tramway, accessible to the town of beacon.

Cons: obvious signs of overuse: graffiti, litter, worn out side trails and short cuts, crowds on the weekends; Mud and running water throughout the trail regardless of season, 85% of the trail is loose rock.

Verdict: a nice doable half day hike, if it weren’t for the views, I would pass and choose more favorable terrain elsewhere in the area.

awesome trail to get the heart rate going. it's a steep incline but well worth it once you get to the fire tower!

hiking
4 days ago

Very challenging but worth it! Everything from rock climbing, beautiful views of the Hudson, to waterfalls and babbling brooks.

This was a very challenging trail. If you are not prepare and fit don't do it. If you are afraid of heights don't attempt it either. It's a very crowded trail with a lot of dogs. I met a lot of hikers on this trail, some were friendly, others rude. I seen a lady with a 6 month baby on her back. This is definitely not a trail for that.

Great trail, intense when going uphill but the views are absolutely worth it

Fun all the way up

I did the hike with my 5yo son yesterday, a very hot day. I fed him constantly, hydrated him constantly, stopped often and he kept going all the way to the top. Congrats Issei!!
WARNING. You need to know what you are doing, do not attempt this if you are not an expert or your child is reckless. NEVER look away from them. My son is very disciplined, a good listener and stops EVERYTIME I tell him to do so. Nonetheless children that age are unpredictable and disaster could be around the corner. It is up to you to eliminate risk. Took 4 1/2 hour on white/yellow/green/red. I think the full loop would have been too much. Start early on summer days. Gets pretty hot soon. Even on the top. We used one gallon of water between the two of us.
I gave it 4 stars but not for the trail itself but because the conditions the people left the hike in. Graffiti defacing rocks, plastic everywhere... C’mon people!! Carry your own garbage!

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail I love it

Great hike that was really well marked. I have the worst sense of direction and get lost on a lot of well marked trails, but I did this one solo and when I got turned around I immediately found my way quickly due to all of the markings.
It is a workout but loved every second. Slid down one of the rocks after trying to follow a path forward that was too steep, but quickly recovered.

This is easily one of my favorite hikes near NYC. The only reason I give it 4 stars is due to the amount of people on the trail. It can be a zoo if you get there after 9am. So go early. But if you want a short hike with a little challenge and seriously rewarding views, this is the one. You also have the option to extend the hike out to the fire tower, if you want more mileage and dodge fewer people. After the hike, I love to head to Cold Spring for some lunch, a rewarding beer, or a little shopping. I heard the trail will be closed down next year, so get there while you can.

hiking
16 days ago

First time back since my first visit in November and lemme tell you it’s just as much of an escape from the city as it was than back then! The wind in the summer was a lot less crazy, so when I got up to the top to the tower it wasn’t as sketch. Went solo so wanted to see how quick I could get to the tower and back from the breakneck trailhead, made it under 5.5hrs! Near the fire tower I was startled by a noise and all of a sudden saw a little doe and was able to snap some pics of it. Even though it does break up to allow you your own space in nature (crazy concept to think being so close to nyc!) but I’d suggest getting up there before noon to avoid congestion and the peak heat, tho it’s really not too bad between the trees. Biggest suggestion, bring at least two more bottles of water than you’d thought you’d need in the first place, will not regret it...! Only thing that’d make this hike perfect was a swimming hole (and less people, but that’s dreamin big lol).

Great moderate hike in the summer. The woods are so lush and green and the hike alongside the creek is invigorating. Topped by a beautiful and peaceful view at the reservoir. My dog loved it!

hiking
18 days ago

It was a great hike with superb scenic on the top. But be aware of stairs and immediate inclining hill (with lots of rocks) in the beginning, which sadly made our friends gave up the hike...

hiking
18 days ago

I started on the red trail. Now let me warn you right now, this hike is extremely difficult because of how steep, rocky and narrow the trails are. I did the entire loop and if it wasn’t for my phone gps guiding me I’d be getting lost. It’s like a maze. The good side of this was the views from the tower. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life. Plus, I got caught in the rain and mist! I was so tired close to the end, sleepy, hungry and in pain lol.

20 days ago

Wow! What amazing views! I cannot wait to return in the fall and just sit at the top taking in the scenery. Definitely start with the white trail because it is quite a challenge. It’s mostly rock scrambling...I wouldn’t want to go down that way. It’s definitely some of the best scrambling that I’ve done in the area. There are so many places to stop and enjoy the views along the way. Once you get to the top with the flagpole it only gets better. There are at least 2-3 more places further up on the white trail that were less crowded where you can sit and enjoy the wind and take it all in.

Steep climb initially, followed by sensational views of the Hudson River and Beacon. The rocky terrain made for an engaging hike. Be sure to look out for wild blueberry bushes around the South Mountain fire tower!

If you want a challenge, this is the one. If you want the full experience of the trail, take it to fire tower, but that makes it a much longer hike

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

Best scrambling and free style short day hike in lower NY!!

Great route. The only tricky part is at the end, where you need to find the unmarked trail back downhill. I walked up to Bald Hill, took a few photos of the view there, then retraced my steps slightly until I saw the trail downhill on the right. Going back this way saves you a ton of time and allows you to see the memorial to the Navy plane crash that took place here in 1945. All in all, this is an awesome hike with some nice elevation gains and views out multiple ways - up and down the Hudson, back toward Mt. Beacon fire tower, and east toward Carmel where you can see (I think) the Ninham Mountain fire tower in the distance. My only question is why the trail back to the parking area is unmarked. If they added blazes it would make it easier for people to find the loop. One little note - when the red trail meets the white it's worthwhile taking the white trail west for a few hundred feet to get some great views of Mt. Beacon, then retracing your steps.

This was an enjoyable hike. Some of the views are breathtaking.
If I were to do it again, I will just do the red trail to the fire tower and back, as thats where the best views are. The yellow trail was long and did not offer much in terms of scenery.

Minus 1 star for the sheer difficulty on the last half of the white trail, but I’ll do it again!

We hiked White blaze to Red blaze to Yellow blaze, which took us 3.5 hours including breaks, on a low-traffic Friday evening in July amidst perfect weather (82, low humidity).


White blaze was absolutely the hardest part.
Red was moderate-easy (some of the markers are facing the ascending while you’re descending).
Yellow was easy.


Pro Tips:
-Bring hiking or cycling fingerless gloves for grip (the rocks can be hot).

- Bring headlamps if you start less than 5 hours before sunset. The yellow trail may be an easy dirt path, but it can get dark in those woods.

- You can look for the SpongeBob Squarepants graffiti on the ground of one of the bluffs to tell you the worst is behind you. It’s on the white trail, between the flags and the peak.

-Near the peak, there’s a sign at a fork in the trail that says “easier way.” We took it and were grateful!

-Enjoy the views at the pine-tree-filled peak.

I loved this hike! I'm an asthmatic and I forgot my inhaler, so I had to take frequent stops, but the view from the top was completely worth it. Absolutely breathtaking!

That good hiking place

I loved it, it was a bit of a workout during the scambles but it's definitely an experience that I would repeat. I can see myself coming here once a week to get a good sweat with a reward at the top. I did the white trail to the red and then to the yellow which leads back to the highway. Alot of fun..

Love this hike...had a Thursday off so I made sure I headed to Breakneck to avoid the throngs of people that show up on the weekend. Always fun scrambling up the trail...never gets old. Took the white Breakneck trail to the blue Notch trail to the red Brook trail...out within 3 hrs including a 20 break to enjoy the view.

hiking
1 month ago

The scramble is challenging but it’s an amazing experience. There were dogs on the trail too. I loved it and would recommend it to eve looking for a challenge.
My friends and I took our time and finished in approximately 4 hrs

My brother an I came up with the name "millennial mountain" because this popular day hike is frequented by hundred of like-minded millennials: those escaping the city/metropolis in search of a challenge. This hike definitely offers a good physical challenge with its over 1000 vertical feet. In the last several months the trail signs have improved drastically thanks to NY-NJ Trail Conference volunteers.

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