Last Updated on April 6, 2018 by Chef Mireille
Hiking Breakneck Ridge in Upstate New York – Day Hike – Looking to get away from the city for a day? Breakneck Ridge is a great hike in upstate NY that you can go and come back to the city in the same day, either via driving or public transportation. Hiking tourists will also appreciate the breathtaking views of the Hudson River.
New York and what do you think of – the city, skyscrapers and public transportation. However, there are lots of great hikes just outside of the city with breathtaking views. New York wouldn’t be the first place you’d guess if you saw these photos, but beautiful hikes are available from New York City.
I am not the most fit person, but I was able to finish this hike. While I would rate this hike as very difficult, experienced hikers will find it easier. At some points, some of the cliffs in my opinion required mountain climbing equipment, but I persevered. As challenging as the hike was for me, it was worth it for the breathtaking views of the Hudson River on a mild fall day, when I took the hike. It is often referred in hiking circles as the most popular day hike in America. The 2.8 mile hike is a combination of steep rock ledges and cleared trails.
How to Get to Breakneck Ridge
It’s about a 2 hour commute from New York City.
You can opt to drive via Route 9D or you can take the Metro North train. The schedule is such if you take the morning train, you have enough time to complete the hike and take the last train back to the city. If you are an inexperienced hiker like me, I suggest getting the very first train out. However, experienced hikers can usually complete this hike in under 4 hours, so you have a little more flexibility.
When to go
NEVER attempt this hike on a rainy day. You won’t be able to get a good grip climbing the steep rocks.
Spring or Late Summer/Early Fall are the best times to go on this hike. The heat and humidity may become very challenging in the middle of summer.
What to Bring
Make sure you pack a LOT OF WATER. Pack some lunch. Half way through the hike on the top of the cliffs is a beautiful spot to enjoy a picnic lunch with your hiking partners. However, pack light as you don’t want too much extra baggage as you climb those rocks!