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South Beacon Mountain via Breakneck Ridge and Wilkinson Memorial Trail

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Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve

South Beacon Mountain via Breakneck Ridge and Wilkinson Memorial Trail is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Cornwall-on-Hudson, 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.

Length 9.3 mi Elevation gain 2,946 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Running

Forest

Partially paved

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Historic site

Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

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!

Take route 9d to the breakneck ridge train station - parking is there

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1397)
Photos (2821)
Recordings (626)
Completed (4093)
Sky Centrello
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HikingGreat!Scramble

This is such an incredible hike the views are insane. A lot of climbing but totally worth it.

Luke Torjussen
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Hiking

Very hard first mile, very steep rock scramble, but worth it for the views

View Luke's Recording
Fredy Pena
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Hiking

Great hike! Awesome views

View Fredy's Recording
Alyse Ford
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Listen to these reviews. just did this hike and holy crow....they're not kidding....I've hiked all kinds of mountain ranges up and down the east coast and this one makes them all look like a joke. Hardest trail I've ever done. super rewarding though and beautiful mountain views, especially from the top of the fire tower.

Artur T
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Hiking

I finished this trail at 90° for 9 hours. The views are fantastic. It is fairly challenging especially at the beginning but definitely worth it. Make sure you have around 4 liters of water with you. I strongly suggest you checking out Beacon Reservoir for even cooler views.

View Artur 's Recording
Denise Quinto
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Hiking

Great trail, I’m a novice hiker so I was hard for me but I loved it.. great views well marked!

vivek joshi
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Hiking

What a terrific trail.. Trail reminded me of Saving Private Ryan.. first 1-2 mile sweatbath makes the next 9-10 miles of rugged rocky ups and downs of trail a cakewalk !! Views from Breakneck and Beacon were awesome ! Fire tower is a must-do climb !

pete cornell
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Hiking

Hard. 22 min/mi

View pete's Recording
M L
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble

As everyone else says, this is a beautiful and fulfilling trail. Great start with the scramble, and the woods were less crowded.

Jacqueline Bangtson
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Hiking

I did clockwise and it worked for me.

View Jacqueline 's Recording
Mike Healy
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HikingRockyScramble

Great trail. Well marked. A little farther than expected. Strava marked it at 10.72 miles, compared to AllTrails 9 mile estimate. Started sunny and then on and off heavy showers on the return, trails didn’t get too muddy. 85 degrees. Packed 3 liters, used 2. First mile is a rough scramble, you’ll want all limbs working. Would not recommend the scramble in wet conditions. Beautiful views.

Canon JP
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HikingRockyScramble

I did this hike on a warm/hot day. The first 1 mile is a steep ascent up, then flattens a bit with a few valleys along the way to the tower. The final .5 miles to the tower is also a varying ascent of rock and dirt. I decided to come down the casino trail to make it easier on my knees. Ran low on water even tho I had approx. 80 oz.

Sudhir D
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Great hike

Sudhir D
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BugsRockyScramble

If you want a challenge, this is it. Great views on the Breakneck ridge. The first mile ascent is a steep rockface and not recommended on rainy days. Counter clockwise is the way to go as you dont want to come down Breakneck after 10miles and tired wobbling legs. 5.5 hours including breaks. Highly recommend !!!

Salvatore Wengler
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HikingRockyScramble
View Salvatore's Recording
Chris Wollmuth
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Backpacking

90 degree day, breakneck was very crowded but on the traverse to south beacon was quiet. Approaching south beacon from the south has some serious scrambles with very little shade. The approach from the side is much easier. South beacon was very crowded but the views from the fire tower are quite remarkable. There is no water until you are halfway down the descent so pack enough. 2L was not enough with the heat. Great hike overall.

View Chris's Recording
Matthew Panton
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HikingBugsFloodedMuddyRockyScramble

Challenging but fun hike, but was cut short after getting caught in a thunderstorm.

View Matthew's Recording
Chris McKeown
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Hiking

This might be my favorite hike in the Hudson Valley. I’d recommend hiking only when the weather is reasonable and dry, otherwise the rocks will be slick and it becomes dangerous climbing Breakneck Ridge (and other portions of the trail as well). The views from the top of the South Beacon Tower were 360 degrees of the entire region. Really magnificent. I managed to complete in about four hours including water breaks along the way and time spent up top.

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