• Activities:

    Photography, Snowshoeing, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2.5 Miles

Dog Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic

Take in gorgeous views across the Hudson, which are perfect for sunsets.

Sugarloaf Mountain is part of the Hudson Highlands State Park, along with Breakneck Ridge, Bull Hill, and Mt Beacon. Though the views are just as impressive as its sister trails, it is never as crowded and it's one of my favorite spots in all the Hudson Valley.

Parking is readily available along Rt 9D. There is a small area for cars directly at the trailhead, you may park along the road where the shoulder allows it, and you may also use the large parking lot south of the trailhead which is shared with hikers there for Breakneck Ridge. You'll be using the Wilkinson Trail (Yellow) to head up Sugarloaf, which is identified at the road with a large wooden marker.

The trail is a steady incline snaking through the woods, and is well maintained by the NYNJ Trail Conference (whose maps are fantastic and regularly updated). In wet times of the year the creek crossing can be a little slick, but outside of the spring thaw it's usually not much more than a trickle. Before you hit the 1 mile mark the Red trail will intersect on the right hand side, which acts as a bypass up to the main Breakneck Ridge trail. Most people you pass up until this point are using this trail to come down as they finish the most popular Breakneck loop.

You'll avoid the Red trail and continue up the Yellow Wilkinson Trail, which will get a bit steeper. As you wind your way up, you'll make your way to a stone staircase. This will lead you to the final push, up a small section of rock, and out to the first view. This first one is the most popular, with the awesome gnarled tree and the occasional snowman. If you continue along the trail a hundred feet or so you'll see a footpath to the left which leads to another pretty sweet dead tree, and a rock slab perfect for relaxing. Further along the trail you'll find a similar open section of rock with the same views, but no cool trees here.

Pick your spot, take in the views and especially the sunset, and then make your way back down the way you came. It's a short trip south on 9D to Cold Spring where you can have your pick of food and adult beverage options, or head north to Beacon for even more options!

Pack List

  • Comfortable shoes with some traction
  • Water/Snacks
  • Camera
  • Microspikes/Snowshoes (winter)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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This was my first hike. Some say this was an advance trail which is why I was shocked I got to Sugarloaf. Unfortunately, we decided not to go down the way we came up because it was pouring and didn't want to get hurt climbing down the rocks. Bad move if you have no idea about Wilkinson trail. We had no idea it was the longest trail. After 2 hours we found an unmarked trail and followed it down just before it got dark. Now we know to do research and pack better!

8 months ago
8 months ago

I T

If you have a limited amount of time this is fun to go up and back.

10 months ago
10 months ago

Needs so corrections

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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