Breakneck Ridge Trail to South Beacon Mountain

HARD 1,264 reviews

Breakneck Ridge Trail to South Beacon Mountain is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Beacon, New York that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,133 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

river

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

Breakneck Ridge is a scenic mountain with rocky cliffs along the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring in New York. The parking area is at the Breakneck Ridge Train Station off route 9d and the trailhead can be accessed at the southern end of the lot. This is a great hike for views of the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain across the water. This hike can easily be shortened by turning back earlier, or made into a loop using one of the other trails in the area. Check out the nearby trails for other options!

hiking
2 minutes ago

Richie said it was GREAT! Random guy took pictures of his back too. Great day

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike with breathtaking view points. It was a beautiful day and therefore the trail was very crowded; it was almost a social gathering. One can do the full 8 miles trail, but we loop out after circa 5 miles. After the first 2 segments, most hikers loop out and the trail is quite empty.

11 days ago

Not as difficult as other reviews made it out to be. Lots of Rock climbing that is diverse enough for you to choose easier vs harder. Great views worth the climb

hiking
12 days ago

Views. All the views. It starts with a scramble — if you’re used to Mt. Tammany, this will be an easier than the difficulty forecasting a “hard” trail. After the ascent, it’s more of a ridge walk out with lots of good views. I made the poor decision to take the bypass down and walk Beacon Hill as a separate trail because rain was creeping in — do not do this if you’re tempted (Beacon Hill’s trail is to the powerhouse ruins and initial views is boring and more like a steep gravel fire road than an interesting venture). Just keep walking the trail and you’ll have a much better path. If it rains, you get wet. Safe travels.

17 days ago

my first real hike, was more than I expected but was a great CHALLENGE !! coming from Louisiana it was a great experience and had a great time

20 days ago

Amazing!!

20 days ago

amazing scramble in the beginning and beautiful views at the top! plan on using 4 points of contact during the scramble in the beginning. Loved this and will definitely do it again!

rock climbing
23 days ago

Visited on a Sunday in late August.

White to red to yellow. Avoided “easier ascent.”

There was (predictably) high traffic, and we somehow avoided the super scary section we climbed the first time.

Finished in 2:45.

25 days ago

fun scrambles

25 days ago

A fun challenge with great views. Going in the fall and seeing the changing colors of the leaves is an amazing experience!

27 days ago

Note that the track shown doesn’t match the description given. The track descends via the Notch Trail & the Brook Trail, whereas the description is about descending via the Wilkinson Trail, which is about 2 miles longer

rock climbing
27 days ago

This is mine and my mountain goat hiking partner Jo-Ann’s favorite hiking spot to climb! Yes it is sad to see the defacing of our beautiful landscape (graffiti and garbage) but it has spectacular views at the summit especially in the fall. We are avid fitness freaks and so we love the challenge of climbing the steep rocks on the difficult side! Experience helps along with proper foot gear and hydration....happy climbing!!

hiking
28 days ago

Challenging trail, especially in the beginning. but it's worth it. The view is amazing. In this trail you will climb rocks, scramble, walk past creeks, you name it! you can make the trail loop longer by taking different forks.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail! Not too crowded during the week. Would not recommend bringing the furry friend unless you can lift them as it gets VERY steep at some points. Great rock scrambling almost all the way to the top. Good for experienced hikers very fun, lots of challenge.

hiking
1 month ago

Very challenging but worth it! Everything from rock climbing, beautiful views of the Hudson, to waterfalls and babbling brooks.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very challenging trail. If you are not prepare and fit don't do it. If you are afraid of heights don't attempt it either. It's a very crowded trail with a lot of dogs. I met a lot of hikers on this trail, some were friendly, others rude. I seen a lady with a 6 month baby on her back. This is definitely not a trail for that.

1 month ago

Fun all the way up

hiking
1 month ago

I did the hike with my 5yo son yesterday, a very hot day. I fed him constantly, hydrated him constantly, stopped often and he kept going all the way to the top. Congrats Issei!!
WARNING. You need to know what you are doing, do not attempt this if you are not an expert or your child is reckless. NEVER look away from them. My son is very disciplined, a good listener and stops EVERYTIME I tell him to do so. Nonetheless children that age are unpredictable and disaster could be around the corner. It is up to you to eliminate risk. Took 4 1/2 hour on white/yellow/green/red. I think the full loop would have been too much. Start early on summer days. Gets pretty hot soon. Even on the top. We used one gallon of water between the two of us.
I gave it 4 stars but not for the trail itself but because the conditions the people left the hike in. Graffiti defacing rocks, plastic everywhere... C’mon people!! Carry your own garbage!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail I love it

1 month ago

Great hike that was really well marked. I have the worst sense of direction and get lost on a lot of well marked trails, but I did this one solo and when I got turned around I immediately found my way quickly due to all of the markings.
It is a workout but loved every second. Slid down one of the rocks after trying to follow a path forward that was too steep, but quickly recovered.

1 month ago

This is easily one of my favorite hikes near NYC. The only reason I give it 4 stars is due to the amount of people on the trail. It can be a zoo if you get there after 9am. So go early. But if you want a short hike with a little challenge and seriously rewarding views, this is the one. You also have the option to extend the hike out to the fire tower, if you want more mileage and dodge fewer people. After the hike, I love to head to Cold Spring for some lunch, a rewarding beer, or a little shopping. I heard the trail will be closed down next year, so get there while you can.

hiking
1 month ago

First time back since my first visit in November and lemme tell you it’s just as much of an escape from the city as it was than back then! The wind in the summer was a lot less crazy, so when I got up to the top to the tower it wasn’t as sketch. Went solo so wanted to see how quick I could get to the tower and back from the breakneck trailhead, made it under 5.5hrs! Near the fire tower I was startled by a noise and all of a sudden saw a little doe and was able to snap some pics of it. Even though it does break up to allow you your own space in nature (crazy concept to think being so close to nyc!) but I’d suggest getting up there before noon to avoid congestion and the peak heat, tho it’s really not too bad between the trees. Biggest suggestion, bring at least two more bottles of water than you’d thought you’d need in the first place, will not regret it...! Only thing that’d make this hike perfect was a swimming hole (and less people, but that’s dreamin big lol).

1 month ago

Wow! What amazing views! I cannot wait to return in the fall and just sit at the top taking in the scenery. Definitely start with the white trail because it is quite a challenge. It’s mostly rock scrambling...I wouldn’t want to go down that way. It’s definitely some of the best scrambling that I’ve done in the area. There are so many places to stop and enjoy the views along the way. Once you get to the top with the flagpole it only gets better. There are at least 2-3 more places further up on the white trail that were less crowded where you can sit and enjoy the wind and take it all in.

hiking
1 month ago

If you want a challenge, this is the one. If you want the full experience of the trail, take it to fire tower, but that makes it a much longer hike

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Best scrambling and free style short day hike in lower NY!!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Minus 1 star for the sheer difficulty on the last half of the white trail, but I’ll do it again!

We hiked White blaze to Red blaze to Yellow blaze, which took us 3.5 hours including breaks, on a low-traffic Friday evening in July amidst perfect weather (82, low humidity).


White blaze was absolutely the hardest part.
Red was moderate-easy (some of the markers are facing the ascending while you’re descending).
Yellow was easy.


Pro Tips:
-Bring hiking or cycling fingerless gloves for grip (the rocks can be hot).

- Bring headlamps if you start less than 5 hours before sunset. The yellow trail may be an easy dirt path, but it can get dark in those woods.

- You can look for the SpongeBob Squarepants graffiti on the ground of one of the bluffs to tell you the worst is behind you. It’s on the white trail, between the flags and the peak.

-Near the peak, there’s a sign at a fork in the trail that says “easier way.” We took it and were grateful!

-Enjoy the views at the pine-tree-filled peak.

2 months ago

That good hiking place

2 months ago

I loved it, it was a bit of a workout during the scambles but it's definitely an experience that I would repeat. I can see myself coming here once a week to get a good sweat with a reward at the top. I did the white trail to the red and then to the yellow which leads back to the highway. Alot of fun..

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