After a rainy week we decided to go on an adventure through the Hudson Highlands State Park. Living in NYC without a car isn't much of an obstacle once you figure out how far the metro north can take you.
I am one of the many New Yorkers who hasn't explored the reaches beyond the city. It was exciting to see a drastic change in scenery while still in your own backyard. I was't expecting this hike to be much of a challenge since New York isn't known for its tall mountains. Casually we made our way to the trail and about 45 minutes later we began to question our initial expectations. We were out of breath, sweaty and carrying too much non-essential gear. Luckily both of us are strong and hard headed enough to keep going. After scaling rock walls and avoiding death on the cliffs edge we finally made it to the top. We enjoyed our efforts for a couple of minutes and headed to the Undercliff trail.
We thought the descent would be a lot easier and faster than the climb we just endured. Man, were we wrong. We hiked another 8.5 miles of hilly switchbacks thinking the end was just around the corner.
All alone in the middle of the State Park, It was perfectly quiet with only the rustling of the leaves to excite our ears. We were lucky to see a white tail deer grazing in the distance. The walk through the forest was very peaceful and something about it felt very human.
Just after sunset do we make it to Cold Spring, NY for a well deserved burger and beer.
Directions from NYC:
Take the Metro-North Hudson line to Breakneck Ridge from Grand Central Station.
Note: The train only goes to Breakneck Ridge on Saturday and Sunday but you can start on another trail from a neighboring station.
Head south from the train station following signs for Breakneck Ridge.
The trail can take any where from 45 minutes to 5 hours depending on which route you take. Trains leave about every hour from the neighboring towns. We decided to walk the two steepest trails and made our way to Cold Springs.
Our route this day was Breakneck Ridge - Undercliff - Washburn and took about 7 hours taking multiple photo opportunity breaks.