Overview: Breakneck Ridge is an incredibly popular hike so don’t expect to get the trail to yourself. The steep rock scramble ascent will get your heart pumping quickly and you’ll be rewarded with great views of the Hudson River. It’s about a 3 mile loop, but all the action is in the first mile.
I’ve done this hike three times, most recently with my 6 and 8 year-old boys, though I wouldn’t recommend it for small kids unless they have some reasonable experience hiking.
This trail is great for those who live car-free. On weekends and holidays, take the Metro-North Hudson Line from Grand Central Terminal to Breakneck Ridge Station.
Hike Length: 3.7 miles
Elevation gain: 1,440 feet
Location: Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, Beacon, NY
Parking: Park on the shoulder of Rt 9D.
Trail Description: From the trailhead on 9D, follow white blazes up the steep rock scramble to a flag pole and the first of 4 overlooks. Continue along Breakneck Ridge (white blazes) until you reach the Breackneck Bypass Trail (red) on your left. Look for a large rock spray painted with a notice to turn left for Rt 9D. Turn left and follow the red blazes to the Wilkinson Trail (yellow). Turn left on Wilkinson (yellow) to return to Rt. 9D, the trailhead and your car or the train station.