Incidentally, I lived near the Hudson Highlands from 2004-2009. Breakneck Ridge was my favorite local scramble. If you head straight up Breakneck Ridge, doing the rock scrambling instead of the mellower detours, that will be a good simulation of what you will encounter on Washington and Katahdin. Bring trekking poles up Breakneck Ridge and you will see what a nuisance they are.
It seemed to me from your post that you have been hiking at lower altitudes local to where you live and now you are going for mountains. They are lots of fun and I hope you have a great time. Whenever I can get to NH I try to climb a new 4,000+ ft peak - I have done a few of them. I would also recommend getting up the Adirondacks (Mt Marcy is the HP of NY) and to Mt Mansfield (HP of VT). Those also have excellent hike/climbs.
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