I had no plans this year to go to Breakneck Ridge. I was thinking of going next year some time to pay it a visit. I wanted to go back to the White Mountains or the Adirondacks some more. So I waited for a good day on my day off from work. Some weeks I have one day off from work, others I have two. I waited and waited, and it seemed every time I had a day off, it was crummy.
I don’t really have the winter gear I would like, and it was now November, and I still wanted to get a few more hikes in this year, so I had to start thinking of some new scenarios. When I started to think locally, the thought of Breakneck Ridge returned. It’s close to my house where I don’t need a day off to go there, and it has some nice scrambling from what I read, so I decided to maybe go there after all. After browsing through some info online, I saw that if you follow the one trail, it leads all the way to South Beacon Mountain, the highest point in the Hudson Highlands, and one that has a fire tower with great views. So I decided I wanted to do that, even though it was a long hike.
I got there one Friday morning after 0930, and I was the only car in the big parking lot. There was another guy in the parking lot right next to the trailhead, which I drove right by. The trail starts uphill right away, and very soon you come to what all the attraction is about. You have a bunch of fun scrambling up rocks, and you have it right away. Shortly you come to a nice overlook, where someone stuck a flagpole, and then it’s back to going uphill. The views of the Hudson River and highlands are really great the whole time.
It wasn’t quite that easy for me to go all the way to South Beacon. You have to go down and up quite a number of bumps to make it there. It gets tiring real quick. I made it out to a spot I think is called Sunset Point, where there is a viewing platform that shows you how close you are to South Beacon. It was getting late in the day, the trail wasn’t well marked and it was camouflaged with leaves at some points, so it wouldn’t be smart to go back while it’s getting dark, so I had to make a decision to go on, or save it for another day. I decided to press on quickly, however right before I was almost there I saw once again where I would have to go downhill again, and then go up a nice section of rocks. I decided to forget it, and just go back. Besides I really wanted to have some time to enjoy the views from that fire tower. I think I’ll go next year when the leaves are changing colors; it should be really nice then. Another thing I’ll do is go on my day off, instead of going there after working 8 hours on the overnight beforehand. No wonder I was tired!
too bad you had to turn back, these days are short now. I love this exact hike you describe, to the tower and back, you should definately try again. it is a way cool area and hike. On a great day, on top of South Beacon, you can see the Catskills to the north and NYC to the south, it is awesome!