It is so weird that you can spend your entire life living someplace and you still discover things you didn't know about the area. Yes, things change over time and the Hudson Valley has a rich historical past but it always fascinates me when someone mentions something I never knew existed.

Growing up in Cornwall, New York, Beacon was a town across the river that I didn't know much about. My parents never had any real reason to go to Beacon. It wasn't the hotbed of shops and restaurants it is today.

I guess that is how I may have missed this interesting fun fact. It also could be because my family never thought much about going skiing.

The Dutchess Ski Area on Mount Beacon

That brings me to my discovery. I recently saw that Beacon used to have a very popular ski slope. I knew about Mount Beacon, the hotel, and the casino. I even knew about the rail ride to the top, but somehow, the fact that it had a ski slope never crossed my path.

Photo Credit : Robert W. Murphy
Photo Credit: Robert W. Murphy

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So, if you are like me and just heard about this not so long ago, kinda forgotten ski slope, let me share what I uncovered.

A recent article on gave an amazing overview of the history of the ski slope. In its prime, it hosted about 3,000 skiers a day and boosted 11 trails. They even had Friday night races where skiers won metals. I bet someone in the Hudson Valley still has one of those tucked away somewhere.

When Was the Ski Slope Built on Mount Beacon?

The original slope was carved out by a few locals around 1946. Then, by the 1960's, it was in full swing. What had started as a small adventure relying on the incline railway to get people to the top of the mountain turned into a fully functioning ski slope. Ski jumps, night skiing, top competitions, and chairlifts all ran until a few mild winters back to back making it hard to keep it running.

Eventually, the slope went bankrupt and closed.

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See if you can make out where it looks like the trails were from this Google Maps view taken almost 50 years after the slopes closed in 1975.

I would be interested to see if you could still make out some of the trails when hiking on Mount Beacon.

2024 Google View of the Dutchess Ski Area on Mount Beacon in Beacon, NY

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