Mountaintop views worth all the huffing and puffing.

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BEACON, Dutchess County (15 acres) — Yes, the trail up Mount Beacon is steep, but switchbacks keep the workout manageable. The hike actually begins on a staircase following the course of the Beacon Incline Railway, once the world’s steepest funicular. Observation platforms atop the stairs preview the treat rewarding all who reach the summit: a panoramic vista stretching from the Hudson Highlands to the Catskill Mountains. A mile away, climb 60 feet up the South Mount Beacon fire tower for a view that’s even more spectacular — on a clear day, you can see from Manhattan to Albany.

Free and open year-round, dawn to dusk.

Activities

  • Dog walking on leash
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife watching
  • X-country skiing & snowshoeing
  • Bike rack
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More to explore

Check out the shops and eateries along Beacon’s vibrant Main Street and Dia:Beacon, a world-class museum featuring late-20th-century art housed in a former factory. Learn more about the remarkable life of Catheryna “Madam” Brett, Beacon’s first European settler, by visiting her 1709 house.