Explore the most popular birding trails in Taconic State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this hike on 4/14/18. It was a cool, crisp day.

The mile-ish hike up was strenuous and the rock scramble was challenging, which was a great workout. The waterfall was picturesque.

Unfortunately, although the weather was nice, it was hazy and the views were less than amazing. Perhaps with the fall foliage, there would have more of an impact.

This trail is poorly marked , and not maintained. The way up is about a 1 mile vertical climb. very loose rock , and tons of leaves it also runs side by side with the waterfall that spills over on to the trail . with that being said the view at the top was amazing ...the way down was super dangerous and almost impossible at the yellow blazes. when we got down it was dark and other people were still stranded trying to get down. I've done at least 67 hikes in 8 different states. this was not fun .

Nice hike up along a stream, crisscrossing it along the way. Then a straight shot to the rock. Only 5.5 hours to sunset! Nice view.

Pretty view at the top. One section had a steep climb, but not super long. Nice walk along creek side.

Perfect quick hike.

hiking
7 months ago

It all up hill

road biking
8 months ago

South road is 20.6 miles out and back, ends at Millerton due to construction. There is a detour on Route 22N to the northern section to complete the trail around Copake at the Massachusetts border in Columbia County which I've done before by itself. Total mileage is closer to 50 miles round trip from Wassaic according to my Garmin. Nice workout and scenery but a bit too flat for me. Bad cell coverage and dropouts in recording the whole trail on my old iPhone (south and north parts). Total trail not represented on alltrails.com, this section here is only the northern part. You can find the whole trail on other websites. Well maintained. One thing I did like about this trail is that you can pick up speed and sustain it for a while since there are not that many people on the path and there are long straight sections to see safely in front of you.

It was a pretty technical trail. It is a well marked trail. We were a little disappointed that the water wasn't flowing because it has been too dry. The views from Brace Mountain are fantastic! A great place for a picnic lunch and to relax with friends! We had a great time and burned a lot of calories. I would recommend doing this hike!

I agree, I would rate this trail as difficult, and I am a marathon-distance runner with endurance and stamina to spare. From the beginning to a bit past the waterfall is somewhat strenuous, with elevation gains and uneven rock-some areas are quite a steep drop off and I would have been uncomfortable on the trail if the rock laden paths were wet from rain. It takes little more than a momentary lapse of judgement before you could find yourself in a very dangerous position. Though mostly the trail has very noticeable plastic markers nailed to trees, the trail in certain areas is not well marked due to its twisting nature and you can lose it if you are not paying attention.

However, the bald summit is beautiful on a warm day. Lay back and relax in the tall grass and allow the sun to dry the immense amount of sweat you made on the challenging hike up.

Don't fool yourself though-the hike down is arguably the harder part as it has areas that are steep and will keep you on your toes, so to speak, so be prepared and keep your wits about you. It's downright dangerous if you don't follow the cardinal rules of hiking. Don't do this trail with someone out of shape. Dogs seem to do ok, but I felt nervous for mine a few times. Bring water and snacks, keep cool and keep your cool.

Saw no rattlesnakes, but this was a Saturday and we saw a fair amount of other hikers to scare them off.

If I ever wanted to see the Brace summit again I'd probably take the Mt. Frissel trail instead.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, but I would categorize it as difficult. I'm a seasoned hiker that's done trails in 6 continents and I wouldn't go back onto this trail without hiking poles. There are sections of strenuous climbs and rock scrambling up, but they are far more technically challenging when descending back down. We saw no rattlesnakes in late August on a sunny day.

road biking
9 months ago

Very nice consistent trail with a grand summit.

Really nice hike with a lot to see from a nice waterfall to nice views. Quite a bit more strenuous than I had thought it would be. The first 1.2 miles feels like 3 miles and there is some scrambling up very steep rocks. Was a bit more than I bargained for with a 2 yr old on my back but all in all a very nice hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Trail follows water crisscrossing several times before steep assent to marry up with South Taconic trail.
South Taconic is wide flat fire road all downhill from intersection

hiking
9 months ago

Fantastic hike!! I have been on a lot of hikes and this one definitely tops as one of my favorite. There is about a quarter of a mile in the beginning that is quite steep but there is also a sign warning you. Was told this place was crawling with large venomous snakes, I never saw even one. Call my crazy but it would have been nice to see one, would have added even more to this trip. No bears either but plenty of Huckleberries and blueberries. Once you get to the waterfall (which unfortunately was pretty well dry), the fun begins. More steep climbs over some very impressive rocks. Then you eventually reach an area which seems to never end. Then there is the one giant rock pile signifying the summit is near. Just a few more minutes and boom, there are the amazing views and a rock pile with a flag letting you know you have reached the top of Brace Mtn. This was a very unique hike, a lot different then any other I have been on. I think that is why I liked it so much! This is a must do if you like a challenge, love climbing rocks similar to Breakneck, like seeing different terrain, feel like your in the middle of no where on an endless trail and then of course the amazing views.

hiking
10 months ago

My wife and I found this to be difficult trail, the beginning is very steep rise which definitely made us work. Once you get past the initial climb the trail follows a ridge and is easy (maybe that is why the moderate, an average...) The top peak was awesome and we made that our turning point, great view, we had a nice picnic and hung out there for a while. The parking area at the base can accommodate about 4 cars, with space along the road for more.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail ! Took me some 2h15! Overall very happy with the choice -- beautiful views at the rock and an overall wonderful experience.

hiking
10 months ago

Me and my wife enjoyed the hike. A very constant incline until you get to top.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful view at the top!!

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike for the views. Not much water nearby on the trail. Such as streams or rivers. Bring plenty of water for this hike. The markers are white paint as well. I ended up at Alander Mt. and hiked back in less than three hours.

hiking
11 months ago

What an amazing view!!! At least 100 miles of the Hudson Valley is laid out before you...through my binoculars I viewed Ninham Mountain fire tower in Carmel to the south and Albany to the north. The Hudson Highlands, Shawangunks, Catskills and the Heldebergs are clearly visible as well. Moderate hike with some easy scrambling up, also staying aware is a must trail is poorly marked in areas and climb up can be dangerous as well. Can't recommend this hike enough

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Great hike. Lots of stream crossings but easy. Scramble up to meet SOuth T trail then nice walk to the view. Spectacular! Don't forget to take a left at the fenced in pipe to get back to Bish Bash falls parking lot. 11 year old thought the first mike was magical- we kept looking for gnomes

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

love this, a great adventure!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I've hiked this countless times it is by far one of my favorite hikes. The views are breathtaking and there's many other trails to other peaks. I've even hiked up with my one month old, it's a fairly easy hike only one part is difficult near the top. I would highly recommend it to bring kids on. I always go up through mt Riga it's much shorter and not challenging.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Great hike, highly recommend. Hike involves a little bit of climbing, but nothing that's too hard. Took the yellow trail to the white trail. Follow the white trail for about 40 mins to the peak.

hiking
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

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

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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.

hiking
Thursday, June 16, 2016

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. Tough first mile. A few snakes. But it's well worth it as you reach the summit. The tri-state marker was cool. You can put one leg in Mass, the other in NY and an arm in CT. 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.

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