Off The Rails

May 14, 2012 9:00 am

When you explore the ruins of previous eras, fascinating things come to light – like the Native American cliff dwellings in Arizona, or the spaceship beneath the Mayan pyramids in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Really, Spielberg? Aliens? Really?

Get that feeling of intrepid discovery, without that army of CGI monkeys, with a guided tour of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway ruins, departing for the first time this season on May 20th.

Offered only four times per year, this upstate woodlands trek explores the century-old, dilapidated remnants of the Beacon Incline Railway — a two-car, pulley-operated tram that once ferried visitors up-mountain to the bungalow-style Beaconcrest Casino.

Guided by scholarly sherpas from the railway’s restoration society, tours reveal the tram’s half-crumbled pulley house, cars, and track bed, plus historical tales of rail car enterprise and intrigue: built in 1902, the railway carted thousands of passengers through the 70’s and mysteriously burned in the ’80s.

The hike is family friendly, and at the summit you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the Hudson Valley, including views of Manhattan’s skyline from the mountain-top fire tower.

Afterward you can enjoy historic downtown Beacon’s boutiques, galleries, antique shops, and restaurants — where you can re-enact Indiana Jones and the Temple of Post-Hike Beers.

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