Trip length: 3.5 miles; 1,380 ft elevation gain. 4.5 hours
Intensity level: + 1 2 3 4 5 !
Where: One-way Hike from Breakneck Ridge to Happy Hour in Cold Spring, NY
When: August 15th, 2:30pm - 6:30pm (/7:00pm). Check-in: 2:15pm.
Getting There: Take the 12:20pm Mentro-North Railroad train from Grand Central Station to Breakneck Ridge Station, arriving at 2:09pm.
One of the most popular trails in North America! And for good reason. Epic Hudson River views are only a train ride and "short climb" away. But don't be deceived—this is THE most strenuous hike in the region, and that 'short climb' is a 0.5 mile of rock scrambling.
Stories of the Hudson River & Highlands
Catskill Aqueduct (NYC's water supply)
Unique Plants & Animals
This is a very challenging, small group Hiking Tour. We'll break often to point out local cultural and ecological highlights, and to rest while we enjoy the beautiful views. This is a somewhat later start to avoid the crowds—trust us on this one!
On this 3.5-mile hike, you will rock scramble for 0.5 mile, only a glance away from expansive views of the Hudson Valley. You'll see nearby Storm King Mountain, Bannerman's Island, and West Point and, on clear days, the distant Shawangunk Ridge and Catskill Mountains. We'll put it all in context for you by comparing where you are and what you're seeing, with places you already know, so that you can find your bearings in the larger landscape.
While you rest, listen to the history of struggle and survival of the land and communities surrounding you. You'll hear the stories behind Bannerman's Castle and the Cornish Estate; of the pollution, protection, and redemption of the Hudson River; and how the battle to protect Storm King Mountain was a victory for the protection of natural beauty across America. You'll also be introduced to Breakneck Ridge's plants and animals through sight, touch, smell, and possibly taste, and learn the story of New York City's water supply as you walk beside it.
*This trail is very steep and rocky. We appreciate your flexibility with our trip return time as we all hike a little slower for safety.
What You Get
- An Essential, Connected Experience, where you see things you would not normally even notice, learn the history, and explore the ecology of Breakneck Ridge
- The Stories behind what you're seeing
- Answers when you ask "What's that?"
- Confidence you're hiking the best route (without getting lost!)
- Freedom to look around and enjoy your trip, rather than search for trail markers
- The Inside Scoop on where to go—during, and after the hike.
- Peace of mind hiking challenging trails with a licensed outdoor guide, trained in Wilderness First Aid
Terrain: Rocky w/ extensive stretches of steep slopes and technical terrain. 3 miles, 1,340 ft of elevation gain and loss.
Stream Crossings: One bridge
*Please note, that this trip is designed as a tour, rather than an extreme adventure, so we will follow the 'easier' routes best suited for first-timers to Breakneck Ridge (or for those who are terrified every time they climb up, and wish they knew alternate routes!). But if you're craving adventure, don't worry—there are NO easy routes up Breakneck Ridge; our insider insight will only help to ease the struggle. ;-)
What to Wear
- Comfortable shoes w/ good grip on bottom. Waterproof preferred.
- Clothes you don't mind getting a little muddy
- Layers - t-shirt or tank & long-sleeved shirt
- Windbreaker &/or Waterproof jacket if there's the tiniest chance of rain (plus, it's windy at the top!)
- Hat for sun protection
What to Bring
- Daypack or backpack
- 1.5 Liters of water
- Extra snacks!
- Camera & or fully-charged cell phone
- Hiking poles
What We Provide
- Bug repellant with DEET
- Group First Aid & Emergency Kit
- Extra Snacks
- Knowledgeable, NYS-licensed guide
By car: Parking information and detailed instructions will be sent by e-mail upon registration confirmation.
By train: Take Metro North Railroad's Hudson Line to the Breakneck Ridge station, for the train arriving at 2:07p.m. There is limited service to this station. Alternatively, you may stop at Cold Spring station, one exit prior. The trailhead is a 7-minute cab ride from the train station. Detailed instructions will be sent by e-mail upon registration confirmation.