Hey, people! Go outside and take a deep breath. Yup, the smell of flowers is in the air as blossoms explode like popcorn kernels over high heat all across the northeast. My favorite dogwood tree in Central Park is in full force which can only mean one thing: Spring…is…here! (Finally.)
Actually, for me it means two things: Now that the snow is gone, the time is right for my favorite day hike. Breakneck Ridge in Cold Spring is just an hour and change out of New York and it’s a beauty. The first hour of the trail is pure delight – it is a scramble up the rocky face of the ridge, directly overlooking the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain, and unlike most of the trails around here, you really need to use your hands and your feet, jungle gym-monkey style, to get to the top. FUN.
From there, the trails dips into the woods and flows like many other enjoyable hiking paths. The loop I like is about 5 miles total and takes around 4 hours (including stopping to eat a picnic lunch at one of many glorious overlooks.) Easy, breezy, and the trailhead is near Metro North’s Breakneck Ridge stop (1/4 mile away) or if you drive, check out the cute town of Cold Spring just a few miles down the road. (Muy importante: Check the schedule before you head out – the train only stops at this station on weekends and runs infrequently. The timing works perfectly for a hike, just make sure you are synced.)
Last bit of housekeeping: make sure you print out this map, hudsonhighlandsnorthtrailmap-1 or find another one online. You’ll need one to figure out the blazes you should follow to go out and back (again, easy, but you’ll need the info.) And bring your own food and water. There are no stores near this trail.
Bottom line: this is a great way to spend a day, you don’t need to rent a car, you’ll get to show off your sandwich-making skillz and eat a bag of M&M’s with absolutely no guilt (and chocolate tastes better after hiking), and you’ll be out and about in nature. As I see it, there’s no reason not to pack up and go, stat. If you do, let me know! And if you need a hiking buddy, even better. I’m here! What’s your favorite day hike? Sharing is caring. Happy trails, guys – xxoo Steph