4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
Breakneck Ridge is a popular but strenuous and technically-challenging hike that leads to a gorgeous overlook of the Hudson River and the Hudson Highlands. The ascent up the ridge is steep and technical, requiring arduous scrambling up a never-ending series of boulders.
In some places, the ridgeline is quite exposed, too.
While this exposure opens up gorgeous views, hikers with a fear of heights should proceed cautiously.
On the flip side, if you're sick of hiking mellow trails that simply wind through the woods, consider tackling Breakneck Ridge as a truly challenging climb! The lollipop loop shown here is one of the longer routes incorporating Breakneck Ridge.
This 8.3-mile lollipop includes a lengthy traverse of the entirety of Breakneck Ridge, undulating up and down the ridgeline before making a final ascent to the summit of South Beacon Mountain.
The route then returns along the stem of the lollipop before breaking off onto a different ridgeline, descending along the flanks of Sugarloaf Mountain. Since this longer loop version is much less trafficked than the 3-mile version, expect even more technical challenges, a fainter trail, and some sections of overgrown trail in mid-summer. **Note:** At the time of this writing, the trailhead is currently closed for renovation from March 1, 2023, to July 1, 2023.
It should reopen after that time. Sources: https://www.travelingfoundlove.com/hiking-breakneck-ridge/ https://triptins.com/breakneck-ridge-hike/