Breakneck Ridge Trail
Location: Hudson Highlands State Park
Length: 2.8 miles
While not as steep a trek as climbing the Empire State Building’s stairwell, the Breakneck Ridge Trail hike will give New Yorkers a run for their money. Only an hour north via the Metro-North Hudson Line, the hike is considered one of the most strenuous hikes in the East Hudson Highlands, but also the most rewarding. Take in panoramic views of the Hudson River as you rise over 1,600 vertical feet in less than three miles. Uphill travel and occasional rock scrambling is broken up by several lookout spots offering views of the Hudson Valley’s bounty, including Storm King Mountain and Bannerman’s Castle. Hikers should follow the Breakneck Ridge Trail’s white blazes until they meet up with the Wilkinson Memorial Trail’s yellow blazes leading back down to the road (the total loop is 2.8 miles). As always, hikers should not travel alone and should bring proper footwear and water as this hike is technical at times.
GETTING THERE: From Grand Central Station, take the Metro-North Hudson Line to Cold Spring station and walk north along 9D until reaching the trailhead. On weekends, there is a train to Breakneck Ridge station, which is slightly north of the trailhead along 9D.
TRAVEL TIME: About 60 minutes.