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Breakneck Ridge Rock Scramble

This is an INTERMEDIATE Rock Scramble
If you are afraid of heights this is NOT the hike for you.

We will scramble up the 1.5 miles of verticle rock ridges on the AT marked by white blazes turn on The Breakneck Bypass with red blazes and then finish down the blue trail. We will stop for a lunch break by waterfall which will provide a refreshing foot bath for those who choose to dip their toes.

Hiking Shoes or boots required. At least 2 liters of water is a must. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen strongly recommended!!! Hiking or biking gloves optional.

Park on 9D just north of tunnel in dirt parking lot.
We will start promptly at 9:15am due to summer heat and crowds that flock to this popular NY hiking challenge.

Breakneck Ridge
The lower reaches of Breakneck Ridge attract scores of hikers in every season except winter, and the sight of so many cars parked in the pulloff of Route 9D just north of the railroad and auto tunnel two miles north of Cold Spring can be off-putting to hikers who enjoy isolation on the trail. If you choose to make the climb, however, you'll find the crowds diminish with every contour ring on the way up. Locating the trailhead is simple. From both the train station and the parking area you need to walk south along Route 9D almost to the tunnel. There a stone building marks the eastern side of the New York City Aqueduct's crossing of the Hudson. You'll see the trailhead at the building's base.
The navigation once you locate the trailhead is equally simple, since if you deviate much from the rock ledges that comprise most of the trail, you'll fall hundreds of feet down the mountain's south face. Utmost care is required on Breakneck, and deaths have occasionally been the price exacted for carelessness. When you reach the summit the surrounding landscape flattens out considerably. You feel you can reach out and touch Storm King, directly across the water. Taurus looms to your southeast, and the views of West Point are unsurpassed. Relax, picnic, and enjoy the views, because you have plenty of time. While the climbing is arduous, Breakneck is not a long-distance hike.
Note on your trail map that you can make the most vertiginous part of Breakneck a one-way trip by following the white blazes of the Breakneck Ridge Trail one way, and then turning onto the Breakneck Bypass (red blazes) for a far easier descent. The Bypass strikes the Wilkinson Memorial Trail (yellow blazes) after roughly 0.4 miles. A left at the trail intersection deposits you at Route 9D about as far north of the parking area as you were south of it when you began. (we are going down BLUE)
There is nothing like Breakneck in all the Highlands, and if your hiking appetite runs to the rugged, Breakneck is probably the testiest piece of terrain south of the Shawangunks, which attract not only hikers but rock climbers.

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  • Melissa

    Awesome people and awesome hike

    August 11, 2013

  • Ra-Ra

    Mass Thank-You to everyone in the group, and especially to Liz. Great group, chock-full of lively personalities, made it fun. Liz made sure the weather was perfect. I had a fun time on this, my favourite hike in the Hudson Highlands. Thank You, everyone!

    August 11, 2013

  • Michael S

    Great hike and group! Thank Liz and Ra-Ra!

    August 10, 2013

  • sharon

    Great hike and people.

    August 10, 2013

  • Jim H

    gREAT hIKE

    August 10, 2013

  • Liz

    Thanks Ra-Ra for leading!

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • Jeff

    Pass center pf cold springs on 9d, keep going north about 2 miles, under tunnel, see parking turn off on right. Second lot, first lot for about six cars is full

    August 10, 2013

  • Tatiana

    Can I have the exact address or coordinates to set it on my GPS?? thanks.

    August 9, 2013

    • Ra-Ra

      August 9, 2013

    • Tatiana

      Thank you Ra-Ra. My husband is not feeling very well.. We'll wait for half an hour to see if he improves butI don't think we are going to make it, next time would be best. Thank again.

      August 10, 2013

  • Dean

    sprained ankle :-(

    August 7, 2013

    • Ra-Ra

      Drat! Was looking forward to saying Hello to you, after many moons. Feel better, my friend!

      August 9, 2013

    • Diane P

      Oh No Dean, feel better soon.

      August 9, 2013

  • Melissa

    I am excited for a hike tomorrow

    August 9, 2013

  • francisco

    This is my favorite place to hike, but I have to step back this time. 46 people there is a lot of fun...

    August 9, 2013

  • Joe B.

    Darn! I have to work :(

    August 9, 2013

  • Yehuda

    Hi - Do you have a rough estimate of what time we will end the hike?

    August 6, 2013

    • Liz

      1pm we will take 4 hours to hike up and down including a 30 minute lunch break and a few water breaks.

      1 · August 6, 2013

  • Paul

    My map of Breakneck has red connecting to yellow on the way down, not blue. Are you sure we are coming down Blue?

    August 4, 2013

    • Ra-Ra

      blue connects with white, going right, not left, further past where red shoots off to the left.

      August 4, 2013

    • Liz

      Yes I am leading down blue called the Notch trail. Thanks Ra-Ra

      1 · August 4, 2013

  • Liz

    Although this hike is only about 3.5 miles in total length the rocky verticle ascent is like walking up stairs for 1.5 miles.

    August 2, 2013

  • Raj 🚶.

    How many miles is this hike? Thanks

    July 31, 2013

    • Ra-Ra

      I did this loop once, and I want to say something like 4-ish miles.

      1 · August 2, 2013

  • Rose R.

    Is anyone bringing trail maps or are they available at the site?

    July 12, 2013

    • Ra-Ra

      Here's a PDF of the Northern Hudson Highlands State Park Trails. Breakneck Ridge white trail is labeled "BR". http://www.google.com...­

      August 2, 2013

    • Ra-Ra

      You can load that PDF trail map on your iThing or Android device and carry it with you. It's decently high-res enough.

      August 2, 2013

  • hao j.

    Will hiking poles help?

    July 12, 2013

    • hao j.

      I see...

      July 12, 2013

    • Ra-Ra

      Poles might help you on the descent on the blue and red trails. Can't hurt to bring them. But they won't be helpful on the initial ascent.

      August 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ironically, I have another race in Hartford this day, but it isn't until 8pm so I might make this one!!!

    July 23, 2013

  • Greg

    Unable to make 8/10. I did the hike today anyway. Surfaces were wet but rain held off till about 10:30. Worst problem were swarms of mosquitos on the trail down.

    July 13, 2013

  • Nick

    Not available for the new date

    July 13, 2013

  • Joe B.

    Cancelled! What's with all this rainy weather? Darn global warming:(

    July 13, 2013

  • Rose R.

    I'm afraid I'm out of town. Ah, I was looking forward to this.

    July 13, 2013

  • Seamas

    I'm running another meetup that day

    July 13, 2013

  • CindyB

    Would anyone like to carpool from White Plains

    July 8, 2013

    • Matt

      Ok, where on Bank Street?

      July 12, 2013

    • Dianna

      Sent you a message. Did you get it?

      July 12, 2013

  • hao j.

    Sorry guys, something came up. Have to pass. Have fun~

    July 12, 2013

  • Liz

    Hi Everyone
    Rain cancels all hikes. I will cancel at 7:30am if it is raining.

    July 12, 2013

  • Peter S.

    Will weather cancel? Is there a way to check in here at 7 - 8 to see status?

    July 12, 2013

  • Rose R.

    If anyone is coming from Cortlandt Manor or Peekskill, I can give them a ride.

    July 12, 2013

  • Jeff

    ready to go

    July 12, 2013

  • Joe B.

    Hybrid Joe has space if anyone wants to car-pool from the Rye area and along the way.

    July 10, 2013

  • MIKEP76.com

    I'd like to come, but unsure at this point.

    July 10, 2013

  • Seamas

    I'm bringing my banana oatmeal cookies for shared snacks

    July 9, 2013

  • Rose R.

    Only me - husband, kid out of town

    July 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Running a race in Brooklyn that day; I hope I can go to some of the events from this group soon!

    July 9, 2013

  • Matt

    Sounds great. Looking forward to it.

    July 8, 2013

  • Georgette

    I am sorry but I was on the Wait list for Minnewaska and now I am in. Thanks.

    July 8, 2013

  • Georgette

    I loved the summer solstice and am looking forward to doing it during the day!!!

    July 7, 2013

  • Georgette

    I def want to do this during the day--I did the Summer solstice and loved it!!! I might take my son and his friend.

    July 7, 2013

  • Georgette

    I def want to do this during the day--I did the Summer solstice and loved it!!! I might take my son and his friend.

    July 7, 2013

  • Rose R.

    I hope to bring my 17 year old as well.

    July 7, 2013

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