Brace Mountain Trail is a 3.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Millerton, NY that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible from March until November.
tiny two car parking lot, trail starts up gradually and increases in steepness quickly. at .3 miles, it becomes steep near a cascading waterfall. breathtaking! the next 1/4 mile is a bit of a scramble (though a relatively easy one) and can be dangerous if you're not paying attention. it's probably not wise to bring children on this trail as the cliffs are quite steep and the rocks are very jagged. the trail levels off and treks through the rocky woods. at around 1.4 miles a short side trail to the left brings you to a pristine little waterfall with a clear pool that looks a little bit like a fairy tale. a nice place for a water bottle refill or a foot soak. at 1.7 miles you reach south brace, that offers a nice view of riga lake just across the border in connecticut. but don't stop here all day. if you squint to the north you can see the cairn at the real summit of brace. it looks far, but it's only .2 miles further. a little downhill, then a little more uphill. the summit of brace is open and grassy. a windsock in the huge cairn marks it. take a nap, look up at the birds flying overhead, and enjoy the sunshine.
Some steep climbing but mostly a walk through the woods and then some great views in all directions. Loved looking north to Mt Washington in the Berkshires. Up and back only takes a couple of hours altogether, unless you kick it at the summit or wherever.
Rough trail at one point wall climbing ... but the view is worth it and you hike south brace then brace mountain... kill two birds with one stone... if you're good or experienced go but bring someone ... i went by myself and all my trails but like one or two i have gone by myself ... love this stuff
The views are definitely worth the climb. The first 0.8 miles is a very strenuous uphill/climb and I wouldn't recommend it for small children or those with debilitating health problems. I went in late August so the waterfall that others have been talking about wasn't there at all because it's so dry right now! The hike is a great workout and the 360 degree views of the hilly Hudson Valley, other Taconic peaks, and the Catskills in the distance are worth every step. The climbing up portion is tough but I actually was more nervous coming down because it's so steep, so take your time! I only saw two groups of two the whole trail so it feels like you have the woods to yourself. Really spectacular views and terrain change.
4th time up there in as many months. Hiked from Quarry Rd trailhead, over the top of Brace and down to the Tri State marker. A little buggy this time of year - lots of dragon flies and other bugs pecking at you. A few snakes. But it's well worth it as you reach the summit. The marker was cool. Etched on one side is the year 1898. The other sides read "MASS" and "NY". Someone painted CT on the 4th side in purple. Looks like that was a very recent addition.
Tried it again today with my 8 year old. She couldn't make it past the initial ascent. Probably not for kids.
Just completed Brace Mountain today. It is very challenging - once the initial ascent is finished the trail levels out. Awesome views, beautiful waterfall and streams. It was well marked in the wooded areas. Where there are no trees you have to look out for white blazes on the rocks. Don't mistake the white quartz in the rock surface for the blazes. Highly recommended.
Good challenging hike for sure! Trail was really steep at some parts; had to go on all fours to get past a couple of boulders. The trail is horrendously marked... I got lost maybe 6 or 7 times, and kept guessing on what was the actual trail/what was not. I don't recommend doing this hike when it is wet. I did it when it was dry and I slipped a few times. Also a few parts of the trail were really overgrown, but the views were great. Would I recommend this trail? I guess so! Would I do it again? Probably not.
This was a challenging hike going up and coming down. The waterfall was ok, not a lot of water, need more rain. the view was worth hike... My only problem was finding the trail markings. Do not hike if it rained the night before, if it is raining, icy, or snowed.... if you do be very careful!
I took my grandson here for a hike to the waterfalls. The beginning wasn't difficult but the farther up we went the steeper it got. The waterfalls were pretty nice. Then we thought of climbing to to the top and almost made it, but the steepness of the climb on the rocks scared my grandson. So we carefully made our way back down. - Brad
One of the most challenging hikes I did as it was really cold and slippery going up and coming down. The view at the top was absolutely spectacular though...breathtaking. I'd love to do this one again but not the same way I went up and down the first time!
Did this in early December. Snow covered leaves and freezing cold made for a challenging hike. Waterfall was amazing. Icy and slippery towards the top coupled with difficult to find trail markings made this especially challenging.
Great hike. I hiked this yesterday. It was a lot of fun. However, the trail is not well marked. Also, there are a lot of leaves toward the beginning of the hike. Unfortunately on the way down, I fell (slipped on leaves that were blocking rocks on the trail) and slid down a part of the path and hit the back of my head on a rock. I currently have a mild concussion. I would recommend that you hike this trail when the path is clear (spring, summer, early fall). It is a very beautiful hike.
Great hike! The first 30-45 minutes are the most challenging, but after that it is a great walk across ridge line. There was about two inches of snow on the ground that added to challenge, but also the fun! The trail might be close for the year if more snow falls.
A fun climb. It's not very steep or long, and some of it is along these gorgeous falls, though they were pretty dry in early September. ALERT: Don't be fooled by the 'fake summit', like I was. You climb out of the forest and it reveals this awesome view of the Hudson Valley, but you are not yet to the top! Continue on the trail for an ascent of another few hundred feet and you'll get to your peak, which is marked with a pretty large cairn. The rock scramble near the top is great.
Great hiking, strenuous but worth it. Easy after early ascent.
Strenuous hike with spectacular Hudson Valley views. The rugged terrain of the Taconics makes the hike particularly difficult with several locations of rock scrambling. Trail can be a little misleading, as there seems to be multiple summits. If you think you've gone too far, keep going about another 1/2 mile to the big cairn with the windsock on top. Worth the struggle!
Great short hike workout! From the trail-head to the top of S. Brace Mtn (4 foot rock cairn at 2300 ft) is almost exactly 1.5 miles. But don't stop there, keep hiking another half mile to the top of Brace Mountain (actually about the same height as S. Brace) for the truly grand views. From here you can look west all the way to the Catskills. Huge cairn at the top of this peak with a pole rising out of the center and a windsock attached. They launch parawings from this spot and once you reach the top you'll see the take off spot they use. You can keep heading north from Brace Mountain if you want a longer hike, there are several signs along the way and you can hike into Connecticut or Massachusetts from this high point. The borders of both states are less than half a mile away. After eating a lunch we just turned around a hiked back down the trail. Great way to spend a nice afternoon.