Sunday, August 30, 2015

Breakneck Ridge Loop

Hudson Highlands State Park,
Dutchess and Putnam Cos,
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
Cons: Very busy with lots of people

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Breakneck Ridge is a great scramble which climbs up a very steep mountain over 1250 in less than a quarter of a mile. I try doing this hike at least once a year, but two years ago I didn't make it for some reason, and last year I was unable to due to my knee surgery. While this trail is always very busy on weekends, this day was insanely busy with literally hundreds of people on the hike. The weather was also very hot, and when we came back it was in the low 90's. I had thought the hot weather would scare off some people, but that was not the case.

There were some new developments since the last time I was here, with many new trail plaques explaining the difficulty of the hike as well as suggested routes. There was also a dedicated Trail Conference Volunteer stationed at the trailhead making sure everyone was well-equipped for the hike prior to their embarking.

We parked on the side of Route 9D on the Putnam-Dutchess county line, and climbed the craggy Breakneck Ridge Trail up to the summit, with many great views along the way. We then took the Notch Trail down to the Cornish Estate, and then took the Brook Trail back out to route 9D. We then walked north along Route 9D through the tunnel that goes under the mountain and back to our car.

Map of the Route. Hudson Highlands Trails.

New Information Plaque at the Beginning of the Hike

Shimmy Navigating the Steep Rock Scramble at the Beginning

At the First View, Facing the Hudson and Pollopel Island 

Zoom in to Pollopel (Bannerman) Island and the Castle Ruin

Storm King Mountain Across the Hudson River

Me at the First View Behind Storm King

Me at the First View at the Flag

Large Crowd at the First View

A Camouflaged Eastern Fence Lizard 

View Facing South

Rock Face of Breakneck. Note the Person on the Top Left

Looking Down to the First View

At the Second View

View Towards Newburgh and New Windsor

Shimmy Showing Off a Geocache that he Found

Cornish Estate Ruins

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