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Breakneck Ridge

Breakneck Ridge

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Breakneck Ridge is a mountain along the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

 between Beacon
Beacon, New York
Beacon is a city located in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The 2010 census placed the city total population at 15,541. Beacon is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport,...

 and Cold Spring
Cold Spring, New York
Cold Spring is a village located in the Town of Philipstown in Putnam County, New York. The population was 1,983 at the 2000 census. It borders the smaller village of Nelsonville...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, straddling the boundary between Dutchess
Dutchess County, New York
Dutchess County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. The 2010 census lists the population as 297,488...

 and Putnam
Putnam County, New York
Putnam County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the lower Hudson River Valley. Putnam county formed in 1812, when it detached from Dutchess County. , the population was 99,710. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The county seat is the hamlet of Carmel...

 counties. Its distinctive rocky cliffs are visible for a long distance when approached from the south, and together with Storm King Mountain on the opposite bank of the river forms Wey-Gat, or Wind Gate, the picturesque northern gateway to the Hudson Highlands
Hudson Highlands
The Hudson Highlands are mountains on both sides of the Hudson River in the U.S. state of New York, between Newburgh Bay and Haverstraw Bay, which form the northern region of the New York - New Jersey Highlands....

It has several summits, the highest, some distance inland, reaching approximately 1,260 feet (384 m) above sea level. The southern face of the peak is remarkable for its striking cliff
In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually...

s, the result of quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

ing in past years.
Lying within Hudson Highlands State Park
Hudson Highlands State Park
Hudson Highlands State Park is a non-contiguous state park in the U.S. state of New York, located on the east side of the Hudson River. The park runs from Peekskill in Westchester County, through Putnam County, to Beacon in Dutchess County, in the eastern section of the Hudson Highlands.The park's...

, it offers many stunning views of the river and region and is quite popular with hikers, to the point that a rail flag stop
Breakneck Ridge (Metro-North station)
The Breakneck Ridge Metro-North Railroad station serves hikers and campers traveling to and from Breakneck Ridge, north of Cold Spring, New York, via the Hudson Line. Trains stop there on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only...

 has been established on the Metro North
Metro north
Metro North can refer to either of* Metro-North Railroad, a commuter railroad serving parts of New York and Connecticut in the United States* Dublin Metro#Metro North, a branch of the proposed Dublin Metro, in Dublin, Ireland...

Hudson Line (Metro-North)
Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line is a commuter rail line running north from New York City along the east shore of the Hudson River. Metro-North service ends at Poughkeepsie, with Amtrak's Empire Corridor trains continuing north to and beyond Albany...

 which runs right by the base of the ridge along NY 9D
New York State Route 9D
New York State Route 9D , also known as the Bear Mountain – Beacon Highway, is a north–south state highway that runs along the eastern shore of the Hudson River in New York in the United States. It starts at the eastern end of the Bear Mountain Bridge at U.S...


Until the early 20th century, the mountain was also known as St. Anthony's Face or Turk's Face, after a facelike stone formation on the southern cliffs that was destroyed by quarrymen in 1901.


While several routes exist, most hikers take the white-blazed
Trail blazing
Trail blazing, or trailblazing, is the practice of marking paths in outdoor recreational areas with blazes, markings that follow each other at certain — though not necessarily exactly defined — distances and mark the direction of the trail...

route up the mountain's west face that begins on the West (Southbound) side of Route 9D near the tunnel. After circling around to cross above the tunnels, it begins a steep, rocky and challenging climb up to the first bump of the mountain, about 720 feet (219 m) above the river, where there are sweeping views of the river and Highlands. It continues in a similar fashion over the remaining bumps until it reaches the summit, but keeps on going and becomes a one way trail that travels over several other summits, and eventually peters out. However, there are other small trails that lead down from the white trail, as there are blue, red, and green trails that ascend from the various other summits that the white blazed trail crosses over. They serve as a shortcut to the base of the mountain.

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