Hudson Valley Hike: Breakneck Ridge

Intense rock scrambling, killer views, and a foreboding name: Breakneck Ridge [Intersection of Fair St & Route 9D, Cold Spring, NY – follow 9D and parking will be after the tunnel]. This is a mighty popular trail, and for good reason.

breakneck ridgeYep, you’ll be climbing up that rock wall, and beyond. It’s relatively short – a 3.7 mile loop, but challenging. You start on the white trail and begin your ascent over the tunnel you drove under a few minutes earlier. Rocky upward trails will turn into rock scrambling, make sure you always have three points of contact with surface. Just keep climbing following the white markers and you’ll make it to the flag pole and first view of the day.

breakneck ridge 2 breakneck ridge 3The Hudson Valley in all of its glory, and little Pollepel Island sits in the middle of it all.

breakneck ridge 5It was definitely strenuous to get to this point, some might even want to call it quits and head home. Keep going! You scramble those rocks for breakfast. Ahead you will see what is in store for you.

breakneck ridge 6There are multiple overlooks with similarly stunning views, and opportunities to rest your weary soul. When you get to the fourth and final overlook signage takes pity on you and states that ‘the hardest part of your journey is over!’ High up you have even more incredible views, if you can believe it.

breakneck ridge 9Though the sign at 1079’ elevation said the worst of it was over, you still have a bit of elevation to gain – party’s not over yet! It does slow down a bit to sporadic pockets of woods.

breakneck ridge 7Change from white to red trail, hard to miss,

breakneck ridge 10And eventually you will reach 1240’ where you will change to yellow markers.

breakneck ridge 11Everything slows down on yellow. The trail truly does quit its upward march. Enter the peaceful woods meandering down, down, down.

breakneck ridge 16You will eventually pop out on the road where you parked, a bit sweatier than when you got there! White – red – yellow, complete this loop for powerful views of the Hudson Valley, and a fantastic workout!

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