Friday, July 31, 2009

Climbing Up Beebe Hill


Last weekend, for some miracle reason, it didn't rain. Well, it didn't rain on Saturday. Actually, wait. It rained on Saturday night...and Friday night...and again on Sunday.

Well, between rain drops, Tim and Allison visited and we went for a hike over at nearby(ish) Beebe Hill in Austerlitz. I found the trail on, a cool web site that lists out great hikes all over the country, complete with hiker reviews, that you can source through a zip code or other search criteria.

What drew me to this particular hike was that it was close to the house, a short trail (no need to mix up a five pound bag of gorp) and there is a fire tower on top of the hill that promised great views.

Finding the trialhead was probably the toughest part of the hike. As a warm up, we checked out a few headstones from a former family burial ground (we'd later learn that the land was owned by the Barrett family (Barrett's and Harmon's occupied the plots for the most part).

Using the buddy system, we sign our group into (and out of) the forest.

Then we tramped on up the hill. More like hitting Harlem hill in Central Park, only stretched out and not paved, it really wasn't all that "challenging," though I admit I was in the back of the pack. A nice lean-to, a pond (buggy!), an outhouse, a sea of ferns and a mess of shelf mushrooms living on the trees rounded out the scenery on the way to the top.

Accommodations are simple, surroundings are sublime.

At the top, John was sitting on a rock, casually pointing to the fire volunteer Bill Starr (he's really like a ranger) and his car. Hmmm. Bill (who's not an actual ranger, I think due to economic cutbacks) invited us into the ranger house, which once served as a cabin for the former fire watchers who would post themselves atop the fire tower...I guess, looking for fires. (except for that one time when they didn't and the area burned down).

We surmised there may have been a few great parties atop that hill at some point in the past. But I digress...and some great info on the fire tower, including pictures of the cabin, etc. are here.

Your happy bloggers.

After sending Bill down the mountain in his car, we climbed the fire tower and were rewarded even further with these stunning 360 views.

View from the Fire Tower: Berkshires?

We can't wait to get back there, bring a few friends and check out a few more trails in the hood soon!


Heather said...

just discovered your blog via The 12534 - very fun to read another weekenders adventures - my husband and I bought our place in Jan 2008 -

look forward to more...


Anonymous said...

Hey guys great post and blog.
Don't forget the Beebe Hill fire tower web site at:

Bill Starr

Christine H. said...

Thanks, Bill! It was great meeting you and we look forward to hiking that trail again!

Thanks so much for the note, Heather. I'll post a note on your blog soon. :)