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Breakneck Ridge Hiking Trail: A Thrilling Adventure in the Hudson Valley

Breakneck Ridge Hiking 


Hiking is an adventurous and exhilarating outdoor activity that allows you to connect with nature, challenge yourself physically, and enjoy breathtaking views. One such captivating trail is the Breakneck Ridge hike, known for its rugged terrain and stunning vistas. In this article, we will delve into the details of this remarkable Breakneck Ridge trail, including the starting point, end point, trail log, hike type, trail length, elevation gain, highest point elevation, difficulty level, and estimated completion time. Additionally, we'll provide insights on reaching Angel Rest nearby road, making this a comprehensive guide for hikers of all levels.

Breakneck Ridge

Brief about the Breakneck Ridge hiking trail

The Breakneck Ridge hiking trail, located in New York's Hudson Valley, is renowned for its challenging terrain and panoramic views of the Hudson River. It offers an invigorating adventure for hikers seeking a memorable experience. The trail is approximately five miles long, making it a moderate to difficult hike that rewards visitors with breathtaking vistas at every turn.

How to get to breakneck ridge from nyc

The Breakneck Ridge hiking trail is conveniently located within a short distance from New York City, making it a popular destination for city dwellers seeking a refreshing outdoor escape. The approximate distance from New York City to Breakneck Ridge is about 55 miles (88.5 kilometers).

Hikers can easily access the trail by taking the Metro-North Hudson Line train from Grand Central Terminal to the Cold Spring station. The scenic train journey along the Hudson River offers a taste of the beautiful landscapes that await at Breakneck Ridge.

Once you arrive at the Cold Spring station, you can either take a short taxi ride or enjoy a pleasant walk to the trailhead. The proximity of the trail to New York City makes it an ideal day trip for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers looking to explore the breathtaking beauty of the Hudson Valley.

Breakneck Ridge hike

Start Point: Breakneck Ridge trailhead

The trail begins at the Breakneck Ridge Trailhead, an easily identifiable location marked by a trail sign and a small parking area. The trailhead is situated on Route 9D, and its GPS coordinates are [40.7744, -73.9623]. As the hike commences, be prepared for a steep ascent that immediately sets the tone for the challenging yet rewarding journey ahead.

End Point: Beacon Metro-North station

The endpoint of the hike is the Beacon Metro-North Station. Upon completing the trail, hikers can either choose to hike back the same way or continue down to the Beacon station. The Beacon Station provides convenient transportation options back to New York City and serves as the conclusion of this unforgettable outdoor escapade.

Trail Log

The trail follows a circular loop, making it a favorite among hikers who prefer not to retrace their steps. The trail log for the Breakneck Ridge hike includes significant landmarks and points of interest:

Breakneck Bypass: An alternative starting point for those who wish to avoid the steepest part of the trail.

First Overlook: An early viewpoint that offers stunning vistas of Storm King Mountain and the Hudson River.

Lemon Squeeze: A thrilling and narrow passage that requires hikers to maneuver through tight spaces between large rocks.

Second Overlook: Another breathtaking vantage point, providing hikers with a well-deserved pause to admire the surrounding beauty.

Wilkinson Memorial: A plaque dedicated to Edward L. Wilkinson, an outdoors enthusiast who contributed to the preservation of the Hudson Highlands.

Hike Type: Loop Trail

The Breakneck Ridge hike is categorized as a loop trail, which means that hikers can start and finish at the same location. This makes it a convenient and enjoyable option for those who prefer a diverse range of scenery throughout their journey.

Trail Length: Approximately 5 Miles

The total length of the trail is around 5 miles, offering hikers a moderate to challenging distance to cover. While experienced hikers may complete the trail in a few hours, beginners or those looking for a more relaxed pace may take longer to savor the sights.

Elevation Gain

The trail involves a substantial elevation gain, which adds to its allure for adventure seekers. As you climb higher, the panorama of the Hudson River and the surrounding landscape unfolds before your eyes, making every step worth the effort.

Highest Point Elevation: 1,260 Feet

Breakneck Ridge trail

At its highest point, the Breakneck Ridge trail reaches an elevation of 1,260 feet. From this vantage point, hikers are rewarded with a stunning panoramic view that showcases the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley.

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult

The trail's rugged terrain and steep inclines classify it as a moderate to difficult hike. It is essential to be in good physical condition and have some hiking experience before embarking on this thrilling adventure.

Completion Time: 3 to 5 Hours

The completion time for the Breakneck Ridge hike varies based on individual fitness levels, hiking experience, and the number of stops taken along the way. On average, hikers take between 3 to 5 hours to complete the entire loop.


Q: Are there any safety precautions I should take before attempting the Breakneck Ridge hike?

A: Yes, the Breakneck Ridge hike is known for its challenging terrain. Before attempting the trail, ensure you are in good physical condition, wear appropriate hiking gear, and carry plenty of water and snacks. It is also advisable to hike with a group or inform someone about your hiking plans for safety purposes.

Q: Can my dog accompany me on the walk to Breakneck Ridge?

A: While dogs are allowed on the trail, it is important to keep them on a leash at all times. The steep and rocky terrain may pose challenges for pets, so be mindful of their safety during the hike.

Q: Are there restroom facilities along the trail?

A: There are no restroom facilities along the trail itself. However, there are public restrooms available near the Cold Spring station and at the Beacon Metro-North Station.

Q: Can I hike the trail in winter?

A: Although the trail offers beautiful winter views, it can be dangerous when it's icy. Before trying the walk in the winter, it is a good idea to verify the weather forecast and trail conditions. Additionally, proper winter hiking gear, such as crampons or microspikes, is essential for safety.

Q: Are there any other attractions near the Breakneck Ridge trail?

A: Yes, the Hudson Valley boasts numerous attractions, including art galleries, historic sites, and charming towns like Cold Spring and Beacon. These nearby attractions offer additional opportunities for exploration and relaxation.

Q: Is there an entrance fee or permit required to hike Breakneck Ridge?

A: No, there is no entrance fee or permit required to hike Breakneck Ridge. The trail is open to the public, allowing everyone to experience the beauty of this remarkable hiking destination.

Q: Is the "Breakneck Ridge" trail suitable for beginners?

A: No, the "Breakneck Ridge" trail is not recommended for beginners due to its challenging terrain and steep climbs.

Q: What should I bring for the hike?

A: Essentials like lots of water, strong hiking boots, snacks, a first aid kit, and a fully charged phone for emergencies should always be packed.


The Breakneck Ridge hiking trail is an unparalleled adventure that offers a unique and thrilling experience for outdoor enthusiasts. From its challenging terrain to its breathtaking views, this trail has something to offer for every hiking enthusiast seeking an unforgettable journey. Remember to plan ahead, pack the essentials, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure through the rugged beauty of  Breakneck Ridge  and the surrounding Hudson Highlands State Park.