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Breakneck Ridge Bypass

Difficult

Trail

2.8 mile 4.5 kilometer loop
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,129' 344 m
Descent: -1,135' -346 m
High: 1,164' 355 m
Low: 31' 9 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 15% (9°)
Max Grade: 66% (34°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Matthew Roeder

Breakneck Ridge with a bypass that makes for a shorter hike.

Matthew Roeder

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

Breakneck Ridge is a classic loop in the Hudson Valley that is accessible by Metro North from NYC. It is extremely steep at first, but doesn't require much scrambling. This hike includes the bypass trail to make for a short and fast trip, but still includes all the challenges of a longer route.

Need to Know

There's a hot dog stand between the main parking and the train stop. They taste better after the hike.

Description

This loop can be accessed on weekends via the Metro North Hudson line or by car (ample parking). There is a special stop for Breakneck Ridge - be mindful as it is a single train door that will open onto a "station" that is no more than a set of wooden stairs. From the train stop or parking, make your way south along the road to the trailhead. The trailhead is just before a tunnel on the right/south.

The ridge ascent along the Breakneck Ridge Trail is very steep, but you can see some old switchbacks to make it basically a steep hike-up. You won't need your hands for much more than balance, but I wouldn't bring kiddies on this trail. Once to the top, you get excellent views of the Hudson River and access to a large number of trails.

Stay on the white blazes past the several few peaks and viewpoints. You'll intersect with a trail featuring yellow blazes that send the trail to the right, but stay with the white Breakneck Ridge Trail. About 3/4 of a mile past the yellow blaze intersection, you'll see red blazes for the Breakneck Bypass Trail where you'll head to the left.

Follow that for another 3/4 of a mile and it'll dead end into the Wilkinson Memorial Trail, which has yellow blazes. Take a left there and it's a quick shot back to the main road.

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Check-Ins

Oct 12, 2019
S P
Steep descent if trail started from NW end of parking area. 3.2mi
Oct 4, 2019
Brian K
Sep 21, 2019
Joanna W
Sep 21, 2019
Andy Schmit
Aug 11, 2019
Jordan Lee
Did with Llewyn, counter clockwise — 3h 00m
Jul 29, 2019
Rory Ye
2.8mi — 3h 00m
Jul 20, 2019
Betsy Waddell
Why the bro and I decided to do it on a 95+ degree day, I will never know. Good hike. Way more scrambles than I expected.
Jun 24, 2019
Chris Kenny
Short Loop 1:27:12 2.5mi — 12h 30m

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 47 votes

#117

Overall
  4.8 from 47 votes
5 Star
83%
4 Star
15%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
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Hike Rankings

#2

in New York

#117

Overall
247 Views Last Month
7,901 Since Jun 9, 2017
Difficult

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84%
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Photos

Heading up the Breakneck scramble in light snow
Apr 23, 2015 near Cornwal…, NY
Breakneck Ridge III
Apr 23, 2015 near Cornwal…, NY
Breakneck Ridge I
Apr 23, 2015 near Cold Sp…, NY
Climbing the initial scramble up the Breakneck Ridge Trail
Apr 23, 2015 near Cornwal…, NY
The steepest part, between the second and third summits (there's a way to go around if this is too much for you)
Apr 23, 2015 near Cornwal…, NY
Breakneck Ridge. Bear Mountain, NY.
Oct 29, 2016 near Cornwal…, NY

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