• Beacon, NY
Breakneck Ridge Tour (Loop)

June 27th, 8:30am-12:30pm


Trip length: 3.0 miles;  1,360 ft elevation gain. 4.0 hours 

Intensity level:  + 1 2 3 4 5 !

Where: Loop Hike from Breakneck Ridge (Between Beacon & Cold Spring, NY)

When: Aug 22nd, 8:30am - 12:30pm.  Check-in: 8:15am.

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 deceivedthis is THE most strenuous hike in the region, and that 'short climb' is a 0.5 mile of rock scrambling.

Tour Highlights

  • Stunning views

  • Stories of the Hudson River & Highlands

  • Historical Ruins

  • 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. 

On this 3-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 gain 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.

*Since this is a very technical trail, we ask that you please allow an extra 30 minutes for this trip in case of unforeseen circumstances that may slow our progress.


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


The Trail

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
  • Snacks


  • Extra snacks!
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera & or fully-charged cell phone
  • Binoculars
  • Hiking poles

What We Provide

  • Bug repellant with DEET
  • Sunscreen
  • Group First Aid & Emergency Kit
  • Extra water, if needed
  • Extra Snacks
  • Knowledgeable, NYS-licensed guide

Getting There

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 Cold Spring station.  The trailhead is a 7-minute cab ride from the train station.