Breakneck Ridge (no car needed!)
Breakneck is arguably the most classic hike for a day trip from NYC. It's fun, beautiful and easily accessible by public transit. While it may be busy during the summer, by this time of year crowds have thinned out but leaves are still peaking making it the perfect time to go.
Polite reminder: Daylight savings time is in full effect, bring your headlamp and plan to be off the trails earlier than normal.
Day Hike to Breakneck Ridge
As always, don't forget a map! This is the East Hudson Trails Map Set by the NYNJTC which will have the Breakneck Ridge loop included.
2. Catch the train
Every weekend Metro North runs a train up & back to Breakneck Ridge. Leave Grand Central at 8:48AM and arrive at the Breakneck Ridge station at 10:15AM. Find schedule here.
3. Find the trail
From the train station you'll head south (Hudson River on your right) about a little over a half mile to the trailhead. You'll see white blazes at the entrance of this hike and can use the coordinates: N 41.44354, W 073.97791 for an exact location.
4. Get your scramble on
The hardest part of the hike is the almost 1 mile scramble up the white trail. It is not a good idea to do this hike in the rain or without proper footwear. If you want to bring hiking poles make sure they can fold up into your bag during this section as you will need to use your hands.
5. Choose your mileage
Option A) The full Breakneck Loop: 5.5 Miles
After the scramble continue on the white blazed trail as it merges with blue blazes. This blue blazed trail "The Notch Trail" will branch off to the left, which you should follow. After about 1/2 mile it will connect with the yellow Wilkinson Memorial Trail. Left on this yellow trail will bring you back to the main road.
Option B) The Breakneck Bypass: 2.8 Miles
After the scramble you can choose to take a left onto the red blazed Breakneck Ridge bypass loop which will cut out about 2.5 miles from the hike.
And if you want to add a little extra camping adventure.... here's a video of what waking up on Breakneck looks like (thanks Dominic Bonaduce!)