The three of us met inside the Metro North train after a last-minute plan to get out of the city to welcome the first weekend that felt like autumn had finally arrived. We were in Beacon, New York after a 90-minute ride. A short cab ride brought us to Bob’s convenience store where Tracy picked up our overnight bags. From there, we started the climb up the wooden stairs and then the next four hours to Malouf’s Mountain Sunset Camp.
Malouf’s Mountain Sunset Camp is a hike-in/hike-out campground perfect for city dwellers who long to get out of the concrete jungle and hike the northwestern slopes of the Fishkill Ridge without worrying about the drive, the luggage, and the camp itself. For $70, we reserved what they call a platform site, a tarped balcony-like space sans the walls nestled within the trees. A picnic table with chairs, a tabletop stove and a tent were included. Our mini-kitchen came with pots and pans and a few plates–enough to cook pasta and ramen for dinner and corned beef for breakfast the next day. We had a fire pit we used to serve me my first smores. There is a common building suited with dryers, a few bathroom stalls and hot showers. There are also vending machines for Twix emergencies.
The hike itself was only difficult because we were unfit. It took about four and a half hours to follow the well-marked trails and find our way back when we lost our sense of direction a few times. (We are city people, after all.) The day remained cloudy and somewhat humid, but it was cool enough up in the mountains. At each stop we made, we were rewarded with the view of the Hudson River and the autumnal colors of the east coast.