Wilkinson, Bypass, Breakneck Ridge, and Notch Loop

MODERATE 77 reviews

Wilkinson, Bypass, Breakneck Ridge, and Notch Loop is a 5.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Fishkill, New York that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,804 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

running

forest

river

views

wildlife

This loop, although it involves part of the Breakneck Ridge Trail, does not climb up to the ridge using the rock scramble that constitutes the western part of this trail, but rather ascends via the Wilkinson and the Breakneck Bypass Trails, and descends on the Wilkinson Trail. Both ascent and descent are plenty steep in spots (so you’ll get some good cardio exercise!), but the only rock-scrambling is in just 2 spots - a short climb on the Breakneck Ridge Trail and a quite short section while descending from Sugarloaf. Vistas are fairly widely spaced, but quite beautiful. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to park right on NY Route 9D near the western terminus of the Wilkinson Trail (yellow blazes). Start up this trail, which moderately ascends along mostly an old road. After 0.6 miles, turn right onto the Breakneck Bypass Trail (red blazes), which is generally steeper. At 1.3 miles, you reach the Breakneck Ridge Trail (white blazes), onto which you turn left. Soon thereafter, there is a short climb to a beautiful vista, after which the Breakneck Ridge Trail, which is joined by the Notch Trail (blue blazes) at the 1.6 mile mark, makes several descents/ascents. At 2.8 miles, take a left turn to stay on the Notch Trail, and take another left turn at 2.9 miles onto the Wilkinson Trail going toward Rte 9D. After a fairly short ascent, this trail then commences a fairly lengthy descent (at times quite steep!), eventually crossing Cascade Brook. The slope becomes much less steep as you parallel the brook for a while and then cross a sometimes boggy flat area. At about 4.4 miles, you start the ascent of the eastern slope of Sugarloaf. Once the trail levels out again, you immediately have nice views to the west and north. The trail then turns south to traverse the relatively flat top of Sugarloaf, leading to another great viewpoint to the west and south. Shortly thereafter, you start the descent from Sugarloaf, part of which you might want to accomplish in a seated position. Although the descent soon moderates, it’s still plenty steep until you cross another brook, after which the Wilkinson Trail mostly follows an old road. You’ll pass the Breakneck Bypass Trail (5.4 miles) and continue back to your starting point (6.1 miles).

hiking
scramble
29 days ago

I took yellow trail up the back side and it was a little sketchy with my older dog but it was a blast. Great cardio!

Excellent route, well marked, with a couple of good views. We however clocked in at 6.9 miles, instead of the mentioned 5.5.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

An excellent route, although we would rate it as HARD and we clocked 7.5 miles in 4.5 hours. Beautiful changes to the trail, through a variety of different areas (woodland, nice vistas, etc). The last bit with the connection to the red trail we missed at first, hard to find and follow, but once you’re on it’s okay. Definitely recommended, but be prepared.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is super convenient to get to via Hudson line metro north. Heavily hiked trail, you are sure not to get lost. Next to the cute town of cold springs. No vendors around the station so be sure you’ve packed all that you need! Bring lots of water!

hiking
5 months ago

Really enjoyed it on a really nice day!

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

muddy
6 months ago

The trail was well marked and there were a couple of nice views. We went to Sugarloaf mountain first and there was not much in terms of views after that. There are still a few patches of icy spots. Will probably try this again in another season when there are leaves on the trees as it seems like it would be a beautiful forest setting

hiking
8 months ago

Trail has a lot of variation. We did the full loop and it took about 4 hours. A tad more difficult and longer than planned.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked it with snow on the ground, some ice in spots. Went all the way to the Fire tower, 9 miles.

9 months ago

Good cardio; not many vistas except for from Sugarloaf. My total mileage was 6.1 miles; took about 3.25 hours

hiking
Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Several outlooks over the Hudson from different points along the trail. At a brisk pace, I completed this in 3 hours. Good workout.

hiking
Monday, October 01, 2018

Great hike - lots of variety; long parts of the trail are super-rocky, but plenty of spots for great views! Took us 4 hours start to finish.

hiking
Monday, October 01, 2018

hiking
Saturday, September 29, 2018

We started on the trail early morning, around 8.30am; it was still very foggy outside. After two days of rain, the path was quite muddy and the two streams, we passed on our way, were running high. At the intersection, where the actual loop starts, we took the path on the right (red circle) while the yellow circle, coming from the Sugarloaf mountain , we left it for our return. The trail was quite empty. By the time we cleared the forest, the fog cleared also and all the vistas of Hudson and surrounding mountains were quite nice. We recorded the whole trail and it is actually 6.2 miles long. We enjoyed the trail and the fact that it was well maintained.

hiking
Saturday, September 29, 2018

Wonderful hiking, with best views of the Hudson from sugarloaf mountain

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Clean and very peaceful.Thanks all trails

hiking
Sunday, June 24, 2018

Great views, dog friendly and barely trafficked on a humid day!

hiking
Monday, May 28, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lightly trafficked route compared to breakneck ridge proper trail, but same stunning views.

hiking
Monday, March 12, 2018

Good elevation gain and great views.. I like it

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

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