Location: Cold Spring
Distance: 3 miles
Skill Level: difficult, don’t recommend babywearing
Elevation Gain: 1200′
Type of Hike: loop
Trail Condition: rocky, trail
Wow Factor: sense of achievement and the views
Note: this is not for the beginner and I wouldn’t babywear, come prepared
How to get there: The trail head is on 9D, 2 miles north of the 301 intersection. You will see Breakneck as you drive north and go through the tunnel. Find anywhere to pull off on either side of the road.
Address to get you close: 472-480 Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy, Cold Spring, NY 10516
Summary: From your car, head back toward the tunnel, and go to the Hudson side. You’ll follow the white trail up and over the tunnel. Now just start climbing. It is a strenuous hike with rock scrambling at times. Look for white arrows indicating alternate paths if a piece seems too hard. There were a few places my husband had to hoist me up but I’m short. There are some nice spots to take in the Hudson, Storm King Mountain, Bannerman Island and take a much needed break.
You’ll see the top and the flag pole and think you’re almost there…And then you’ll get to the flag pole and realize you still have more to go. This is a great spot to take a break and eat an energizing snack. Breakneck is a very busy hike, especially on the weekends and you will probably not have the spot to yourself.
Turn around and you’ll see the top from here. Head up some more and once you get there…you’ll realize you still have more to go. Then you’ll see the top. Head up…and there’s still more! You get to go downhill for just a little bit but then it’s back up until finally, you’ll get to the tiny lone pine tree that is the really real top and has different views south of Bull Hill. Three fakeouts, over one thousand feet of elevation gain, and not even a mile in! Take a celebratory Rocky style photo to post all over social media to show everyone how awesome you are.
You could turn around and go back down the way you came, making it a 2 mile out-and-back. This is where most of the views are. But if you want to keep going, you finally get to walk downhill for the first time in ages. Keep your eye out for big red markers on a boulder. Follow this Bypass trail left. The red trail dead ends with the yellow. Hang a left and follow it all the way down to the road. Walk back toward the tunnel to find your vehicle.
Dogs: not prohibited but you’ll have to lift them in some spots