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Not So Urban Athletics: Mount Taurus/Breakneck Ridge Überhike

  • Nov 10, 2012 · 9:15 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

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 I wanted to do that ... Just not alone. Check there when trying to set up a carpool http://www.meetup.com/justnotalone/events/87562342/

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  • Raza

    It was Überwonderful! The hike challenged me and the payoff was magnificent. I woke up this morning feeling great. As always, I was amazed by the diversity of the group, the openness, warmth, and ease of conversation. Kevin - you are awesome! Thank you for an amazing day.

    November 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    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

  • A former member
    A former member

    Amazing! Kevin is the best leader I've met in NY hiking meet ups. He frequently did head counts and no one was left behind. He also organized a sweeper to herd the stragglers. Great organization!

    November 10, 2012

  • Katie

    Sorry, guys, I was looking forward to it but I had some kind of alarm failure. I'm not going to be able to pack my things and make it to the station on time.

    November 10, 2012

  • Dee D.

    I have a ride :=) so I'm all straight.

    November 9, 2012

  • Dan

    Do we know what conditions are going to be like this weekend?

    November 8, 2012

    • April

      But I am a novice

      November 8, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Apologies for last minute change but I can't join the hike tomorrow. I hurt my back yesterday. I was hoping to recover today but it still hurts and I can't risk climbing with this back :(

      November 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone driving from NY? Or, alternatively, are people meeting at Grand Central?

    November 9, 2012

  • Dee D.

    Hi - Might need a ride. Does anyone have space leaving from Manhattan. I'm working w/ someone frm the other group but just checking my options

    November 8, 2012

  • K J.

    I have had a few strenuous climbs, but can you elaborate on the 'rock scramble'? Is that along the lines of rock climbing?

    October 18, 2012

    • K J.

      thanks.

      October 27, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Metahan! Yey.. Your going to love this!!!

    October 20, 2012

  • Karen

    OK, you scared me off! I am definitely a beginner. I am up for a beginner hike next time :)

    October 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Guess I'm out!

    October 18, 2012

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