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“Breakneck Ridge: challenging but worth the climb!”

Hudson Highlands State Park
Ranked #5 of 25 things to do in Cold Spring
Attraction details
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Breakneck Ridge: challenging but worth the climb!”
Reviewed 27 August 2013

Breakneck Ridge is a challenging hike that can be done as a day trip from New York City. Metro North trains will drop you off at the Breakneck Ridge "station" (a wooden platform in the middle of nowhere) that is within walking distance of the trail head. The trail is marked with white paint and becomes very steep within the first 5 minutes. Your climb will be more bouldering than traditional hiking, so expect to use all fours to negotiate the large rocks. There are several natural rest points on the way up which also have incredible views of the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain across the river. Overall the summit is about 1250 feet. The return trip is considerably easier and more gradual if you take one of the other trails down (I recommend red to the yellow, but check a map).

Some tips:
* This is a challenging hike. If you are a beginner, only go if you are in decent shape for considerable cardio. This will be like doing the hardest stairmaster of your life.
* Pick a day with fair weather. I don't recommend trying the hike on a very hot or cold day. Do not attempt the hike when its raining or when it's wet -- too slippery. Autumn is ideal, especially when the leaves change colors.
* Apply sunscreen to exposed skin -- there is a fair amount of exposure during the climb.
* Wear comfortable clothes and stretch before you begin. It is considerably windier and cooler as your climb.
* I can't stress enough to wear comfortable shoes with good support and tread. Hiking boots may be too heavy - high-top sneakers are better. Don't even think about sandals or flip flops.
* Wear hiking gloves or something to protect your hands. You will definitely be using all fours to get up the boulders.
* Pack a lunch, snacks, and plenty of water.
* There are no facilities on this hike.
* Bring a map (http://nysparks.com/parks/attachments/HudsonHighlandsNorthTrailMap.pdf). I had cellular service and the trail was shown in Google and Apple Maps, but don't count on your phone to guide you.
* The hike takes several hours, including rest stops.
* Enter the trail head on the side of the road closest to the railroad tracks. The trail will take you up, over the road, and to the boulders. Then the fun begins!
* Return along the bypass trails through wooded terrain. This descent is much shallower than the climb.
* Don't forget to bring a camera!

If you have time and energy afterward, the town of Cold Spring is quaint and has a strip of restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream, etc. It is about two miles south of the trail head, but unfortunately this walk requires walking on the side of the highway. On the plus side, trains stop more frequently in Cold Spring than Breakneck Ridge. Have fun!

Visited October 2012
17 Thank Bdsqr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
96 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Three Lakes Trail Was Great!”
Reviewed 10 August 2013

Once we got on 301 we took Denneytown Road to the end and started on the Blue Trail. It ended up being The Three Lakes Trail! It was such a wonderful day! The terrain was ever changing. Several creeks to cross while balancing on rocks, waterfall, beautiful Lakes, climbing up large boulders and rocks! The property was well maintained and clean! We only saw 2 other people in passing during our 5 mile hike! We did see 2 snakes though! There are MANY trails at Fahnestock State Park and we plan on returning! If you enjoy a day in the woods- check this place out! Its beautiful!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Vbkate725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Family Adventure”
Reviewed 30 July 2012

This is a great location to spend quality family time and be at one with nature. The views are breathless and plenty of walking trails. Definitely bring a camera and capture the best images.

Visited April 2012
6 Thank FamilyGirlNewburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
139 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great trails with amazing views of the Hudson”
Reviewed 28 May 2012

Heard about the trails from a friend and we weren't disappointed. The trails can get rocky in some places, but mostly enjoyable. We took the Blue Hill trail and it was manageable and very enjoyable. Will definitely come back again to hike and maybe see the beach.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank NJtraveller95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilton, Connecticut
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Views and Challenging Hikes”
Reviewed 23 May 2012

My fiance and I hiked these trails last summer and were happily surprised that they were as much of a challenge as other folks had mentioned they were. Breakneck Ridge is definitely not your typical "leisurely" climb - much of it requires you to climb over steep rocks and paths. The view from the peak, however, is gorgeous. Make sure you pack a lunch for the top as you'll certainly be hungry and thirsty after the climb!

Visited August 2011
3 Thank Blueslady442
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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