For all of you who like myself prefer to spend the winter skiing (and not hiking), this is the perfect opportunity to wake up your trail legs and get in shape for the upcoming hiking season.
Despite of what you may have heard about Breakneck Ridge - this is one of the most strenuous hikes in the East Hudson Highlands. Although the most strenuous sections are relatively short, you will have to climb over rock ledges and use both your hands and your feet in many places along the way. Breakneck rocks can be very slippery when wet so in case of rain, we'll have to postpone/cancel the hike.
On the plus side - along the way we'll pass a number of breathtaking viewpoints - so don't forget to bring your cameras!
We'll do a 7-8 miles long loop, starting on the White trail going up the ridge, and a couple of miles in, before we switch over to the yellow trail, go over the Sugarloaf Hill, and back towards the parking lot. Only about first 3/4 of a mile is strenuous but I have seen people give up and turn back during this portion (which can be very inconvenient if you drove up with a few people), so please be prepared to deal with a steep hill. About 2 hours into the hike, we'll take a lunch break, so please bring something to snack on. The entire hike with all breaks, at a decent pace, should not take more than 5-6 hours.
Proper footwear is essential for this hike - a pair of comfortable, broken-in shoes, with good traction. Please no flip-flops, clogs, skate shoes and similar footwear on this hike.
Bring enough water for the entire day. There is no water source anywhere along this hike, so come with your bottles/hydration packs filed up and ready to go.
You will need a small backpack to carry your food, water, and extra clothing. As I mentioned before, on some portions of this hike you will need to use your hands to climb up rocks, so you need your hands to be free.
The weather in the early spring can be unpredictable, and with a bit of a wind chill at the top of the ridge, a sunny day can turn into a cold one - so be ready and dress in layers. Bring an extra layer, a hat, and rain/wind jacket that can fit into your backpack. A pair of gloves can be helpful on a cold, windy day.
As on any given hike - it is always a good idea to have your own map of the area you are hiking. You can purchase NY/NJ conference's East Hudson trail map pack, or at least print out this map (trails are color coded, so the print it in color):
Sunblock and insect repellents are good to have handy.
We should be done with this hike long before it gets dark, but it's always a good idea to pack a headlamp/flashlight - for unforeseen circumstances.
We will carpool, and share the cost of gas/tolls.
If we do not have enough cars/drivers - one can easily get to Breakneck via public transportation.
Breakneck Ridge stop on the Metro North, Hudson Line, is conveniently located only a few hundred feet away from our meeting place - Breakneck Ridge parking lot. On Saturday, 4/12, the train on this Metro North line is leaving from the Grand Central station at 8:43 AM and is scheduled to arrive at Breakneck at 10:03 AM - so if you are taking the train, you should be there just in time to meet the rest of the group; when you get off the train, walk south (back towards the city) a few hundred feet (or just follow the people getting off the train) and you should see a parking lot - if you don't see us, call me or other members of the group you know -I will email you my contact info before the event. The ticket for this trip on this day is considered to be "off-peak" ticket (you'll have to select this option when purchasing ticket at the station), and the round trip fare is $26.50.
Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its northern terminus at the Bear Mountain Bridge. Cross the bridge and proceed north on N.Y. Route 9D for about 8.5 miles to the Village of Cold Spring. Continue ahead on Route 9D for another two miles past the intersection with N.Y. Route 301 in Cold Spring. Immediately after passing through a tunnel under Breakneck Ridge, there will be a small parking area on the left (west) side of the road. Continue north for another 0.2 mile to a much larger parking area on the west side of the road.
GPS Coordinates: [masked], [masked]
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