Sunday, July 1, 2012

Breakneck Ridge

Hudson Highlands State Park
Putnam County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Breakneck Ridge Trail: White blaze
Notch Trail: Blue blaze
Brook Trail: Red blaze

Total Time:
3:00 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Very Challenged Climb full of scrambles and continuos amazing views, historic ruins

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy & Mordy Rosenberg

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

If I had to rate the best hike in the Highlands region, Breakneck Ridge would be it. It has an incredible scramble which climbs at a very steep angle up over 1200 feet, and amazing views abound continuosly. I try doing this hike at least once a year. This day was extremely hot, and was probably the mid 90's and humid. Nevertheless we set out early, used lots of sunblock, and took a large amount of cold water. We started at the Breakneck Ridge trailhead parking right past the tunnel on Route 9D, and climbed straight up and went to the Notch Trail. The first part of the trail was extremely busy as usual, despite the weather which I though would have deterred alot of people.

We took the Notch Trail down, and this part of the hike is much more tranquil, serene, and mild. I don't think we passed anyone once we took the Notch Trail onwards. We passed the pond right before the Cornish Estate, and I was surprised to see the dam breached and the pond entirely drained! (If anyone has any knowledge about the breached dam and drained pond, please comment!) We then walked through the Cornish Estate ruins, did a little exploring, and then continued along the Brook Trail, which goes alongside the Breakneck Brook in middle of the valley, back through Route 9D. Once we hit the road we took it north through the tunnel and back through our car. Besides for providing well-needed shade, the tunnel provide a strong wind which really cooled us off!

I had taken my camera, but unfortunately the battery was dead, so I was stuck with my cell phone camera. So I apologize for the lower quality of the photos below.

Map of the Route

Scramble Near the Beginning.
Mordy Rosenberg Climbing the Rock.

Mordy at the First View with the Flag

Facing West Across the Hudson to Storm King Mnt

Me at the View

The View From the Summit, Facing northwest towards Newburgh.

The Breached Dam At the Pond with the Drained Pond

The Rosenberg Brothers at the Cornish Estate Ruin

More Buildings At the Cornish Estate Ruin

View of the Rocky Face of Breakneck Ridge,
From Route 9D Right after the Brook Trail terminus.

Inside the Tunnel Under Breakneck Ridge.

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