Not So Urban Athletics: Mount Taurus/Breakneck Ridge Überhike

  • November 10, 2012 · 9:15 AM
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The other day I was thinking about what hike I wanted to do next and remembered that I wanted to cross Mount Taurus off my list of "need to do" hikes. This is an excellent Hudson River valley climb with several fantastic views and points of interest along the way. While looking at the trail map and plotting the route I wanted to hike, I noticed that Breakneck Ridge -- one of my favorite hikes of all time -- is just a stone's throw up the road.

Uh oh, I smell trouble.

Look before you leap ...

I can't travel all this way and have Breakneck Ridge within sight and not hike it, so we're going to do both peaks this day. We'll start our hike with a 1,000 foot ascent up Breakneck, then we'll make our way back down to road level via a different trail and tackle our second peak, climbing 1,400 feet up the face of Mount Taurus. We will finish by looping back to our starting point, taking in the stunning views and examining the ruins of several old structures along the way.

We'll be tackling two separate summits and doing some serious rock scrambling as well as making chest bursting ascents but the reward is well worth the effort. No beginners or armchair athletes allowed on this one. If you don't have at least several strenuous hikes under your belt then you'd better tell me that your alter ego is either Superman or Wonder Woman. And if you attended my September Breakneck Ridge hike and are thinking you've been there and done that, only 25% of that hike will be repeated. The rest will be all new s&%t so don't hem and haw, hit that RSVP button!

The important stuff ...

  • This is an advanced level hike of about 8.5 miles and I recommend that attendees be in excellent cardiovascular shape -- being a triathlete isn't necessary but "exercise" shouldn't be a four-letter word to you. There are numerous rock scrambles and a 2,800 foot elevation gain so be prepared for a challenge.
  • Also, if you have a fear of heights this might not be a good hike for you. There are areas where you will skirt along ledges and near lengthy drop offs.
  • This is a social hike, the pace will be moderate -- we'll be stopping to take in the views and smell the flowers. If you yearn to channel your inner Mountain Goat and feel the need to race everyone to the top of the mountain, this is not the hiking trip for you.
  • Dress in layers of non-cotton clothing, wear hiking boots or trail shoes (I wouldn't recommend sneakers but that is at your discretion), a hat, bring 3 liters of fluid, a packed lunch and/or snacks, and sunscreen.
  • Rain cancels the hike.
  • No guests allowed, sorry.
  • RSVP only if you seriously plan to attend as space is limited. If you RSVP and I notice you have a number of no shows or a history of last minute cancellations, you will be removed.
  • I will distribute my mobile phone number to the confirmed RSVPs two days before the event. Don't leave home without it.

How to get there ....

By Train:
Take the Metro-North East Hudson Line to the Breakneck Ridge flag station, the 7:50 AM train from Grand Central gets you there at 9:05 AM. The off peak round-trip train fare is $24.50 and make sure you are sitting in the last car to get off at this station. When you disembark, walk about a half mile South down Route 9D to the start of the trailhead, which is on the Southbound side of the road, just before the entrance to the Breakneck Ridge tunnel underpass. (See photo below.)

By Car:
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, park in the small parking area on the left (West) side of the road. (See photo below. If this parking area is full, continue north for another 0.2 mile to a much larger parking area on the West side of the road).

This hike is cross-posted in Evenings & Weekends in New York City. Check there when trying to set up a carpool http://www.meetup.com/E-W-N-Y-C/events/87549502/

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  • Emmy

    The was uber bad ash. Lets do it again

    April 14, 2013

  • Ivonne

    It was an amazing hike!!! Thank you Kevin

    November 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great trip, good company, nice pace and very well organized

    November 11, 2012

  • Emmy

    Great work out and beautiful views. I had so much fun. The conversations were meaningful, the people were supportive and worked together to get through the challenges. Overall this was so worth it. Thanks Kevin for a great hike.

    November 11, 2012

  • Kevin

    What an excellent hike, I am going to be tired for several days to come. Thanks to everyone that came out, I met a bunch of great new faces and entertaining personalities that I hope become regulars at my events. Oh, and my one take away of the day ... there is no "f" in "queue" ... whoda thunk!

    November 11, 2012

  • Art

    Good people, great hike, fantastic day!

    November 10, 2012

  • Marci

    Janu, Julia, and Beth, would you like to meet to take the train together?

    November 8, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi will take the train as well. See you guys there!

      November 9, 2012

    • Janu

      sounds good I will be there!

      November 9, 2012

  • Tim S

    I thought I could get gas & I have failed so far. I am going to try late tonight. Otherwise, I will bail last second--I have an odd # lic plate. I am taking my dog so need to drive.

    November 9, 2012

  • Kevin

    I have sent the confirmed RSVPs my contact info via email. Please let me know if you didn't receive it.

    November 9, 2012

  • Art

    OK I thought about all the stuff that's happened and I am still in. I am optimistic that the gas issue will ease by the weekend. If it does not then I will back out.

    If anyone needs a ride and you're near my route (below), ping me by email and let me know where you are located. Include your mobile number so we can coordinate the meet on Sat.

    I'm driving from Bayridge Brooklyn and can pick up anywhere along BQE in Brooklyn. I will be swinging through FDR or West Side HWY, so I might be willing to make a stop somewhere there.

    Just so you know the times, I would be picking up between 7:20 (Bkln) and 7:40 (Manh.)

    -Art

    November 6, 2012

    • Art

      Got a full tank of gas :) Got three people I'm taking. We're ready to go.

      November 8, 2012

    • Ivonne

      Yippee!!!!

      November 8, 2012

  • Kevin

    Just a heads up folks, I may need to nix the Breakneck portion of this hike due to excessive wetness from snow melt in which case we'll just scale Mt. Taurus. It is going to be a great weekend to hike weather wise but overly wet conditions make hiking Breakneck a bit dangerous. I'll be on site early Saturday to get eyes on and make this decision.

    November 8, 2012

  • Janu

    who all are taking the train ?

    November 6, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Me too! :)

      November 6, 2012

    • Marci

      I am as well

      November 6, 2012

  • Marci

    Sorry if this is a repeat question, but does anyone know if the train line to the hike is up and running, for those of us who aren't driving?

    November 6, 2012

    • Kevin

      The Metro North Hudson line is functioning without restrictions. That is likely going to be the least stressful way to get to the hike.

      November 6, 2012

  • Kevin

    @Everyone, if your plans have changed and you can't make this meetup, please be courteous and change your RSVP to "not attending" NOW. Last minute cancellations and no shows will not be looked upon kindly. Thanks.

    November 5, 2012

    • Michelle J

      At what point should I stop looking for a ride and remove myself from this hike so as to not upset the group?

      November 6, 2012

    • Kevin

      Michelle, don't hit the bricks just yet. I'm in the same situation as you but I have faith that the gas crunch will ease as the week progresses and we can both drive to the hike.

      November 6, 2012

  • Robin

    Have to cancel. I have post-Sandy cleanup to do in Howard Beach.

    November 5, 2012

  • Michelle J

    I won't have the gas to get up to the hike. Is anyone else driving up from Queens, Brooklyn, or preferably Long Island?

    November 5, 2012

  • Andrea

    Hi Guys, did this hike yesterday (10/20) and it was awesome. Breakneck Ridge is quite the challenge but quite rewarding. I feel liberated. Lol. Mt. Taurus has some amazing viewpoints especially the overlook down into Cold Springs and out into West Point. Wish I could join you but I will be out of town. Have a great time. Can't wait to see the pictures.

    October 21, 2012

  • Stephanie

    Ok, cancel my confirmation. I will attempt this after a I get a hike or two with the group. Have a bad knee, concern about the rocks.

    October 19, 2012

  • Kevin

    @Stephanie, please read the meetup outline. Every question you can think of and then some are answered.

    @Gina, I'd hire your dog walker for the day just in case. I'd say you'll be back in town by early evening but I don't put time constraints on my meetups and end time is dependent on a number or conditions. I suggest everyone that attends my events keep their day open or make arrangements as if you plan to be out all day.

    October 19, 2012

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