Start your trek relaxed, nestled between a scenic meadow and the woods. Enjoy it while you can, because before you know it you’ll start ascending up woodsy hills, scrambling up rocks, and sweating your socks off until you reach the summit. The hike up Brace Mountain [Intersection of Quarry Hill Road and Deer Run Road, Millerton, NY – continue on Quarry Hill for a half mile to lot on the left] is challenging and rewarding, everything you could ask for on a (just about!) four mile hike in the Taconics.
You’ll follow the white trail the whole way, up and back 1,500 feet, just keep your eyes peeled for markers. On a day in between summer and fall we enjoyed the peaceful quiet of the dense green woods.
The trail goes from a walk in the woods to extremely steep on the flip of switch. The woods will start opening up to bare rock as you continue to climb up hard, in between panting don’t forget to look out behind you – there are some very gratifying views.
After approximately 1.5 miles the trail will pretty much level out, you’ll be on top of South Brace Mountain. Don’t stop here, there is another half mile to go to get to Brace Mountain. Keep following the rocky trail with the gentle rolling hills and low shrubbery around the side of the mountain.
You’ll know you’ve reached the end when you see the large rock pile with the windsock, any other rock piles are impostors.
The summit is big, bald (treeless), and beautiful.
Those views are what you came here for. Dreamy pastoral wonderland, but be warned, it’s breezy up there! Stayed to snap a few pictures, scarf down a snack, catch my breath, and continued on the way I came from. It’s a great hike, a serious workout, and a wonderful memory looking back on a winter day.