Details proved to be surprisingly elusive, but after several phone calls I was able to speak with a woman at the Bannerman’s Castle Trust that is organizing this tour.
This is the first tour of this type. Previous tours either consisted of a boat anchoring offshore of the island while the guide points out the sights or the “hard hat” tour where visitors rowed themselves to the island in kayaks, donned protective gear, and then followed guides around, cutting their way through the brush with handtools. In an effort to broaden access to the sight, the trust has now installed amenities such as a dock and stairs and cleared out the buildings.
A boat will pick up passengers in Beacon at a dock adjacent to the train station. I’d recommend traveling by MetroNorth from Grand Central Station to Beacon for those of you coming up from the city without personal vehicles. If you are coming up by bus, let me know, and I’ll probably be able to pick people up at the bus station.
There will be four tours each on October 25 and 26. The tours begin at 10:30 am, Noon, 1:30 pm, and 3:00 pm. The woman on the phone told me that each tour will be approximately two and a half hours long (which seems strange given that they start every ninety minutes). People have to buy tickets for a specific tour, mail in their money, and have their tickets mailed back to them. So if we’re doing this we need to get organized quickly. I was told all tours are still available, but they expect all of them to sell out before the event. I think the best way would be for me to buy tickets for everyone going in a group and then distribute them when we meet.
And now the bad news. The tickets are $40 each. A high price but probably worth it considering this is the only time they’ll be doing this this year. To put it in perspective, the kayak tours I mentioned above were $100 a person. And to sweeten the deal, I’ll take everyone out to dinner afterwards.
So let me know if there’s interest. If you want to contact the people directly, their number is 845-831-6346. Their address is Bannerman’s Castle Trust, PO Box 843, Glenham, NY 12508. The website is the one I linked to in the OP.