Hike the Sugarloaf Mountain and Breakneck Ridge Loop

Breakneck Ridge Trailhead

This loop in the Hudson Highlands provides views of Hudson River West Point, Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Storm King Mountain, and Bannerman castle and is additionally amazing at sunset.

The Breakneck Ridge to Sugar Loaf Loop gives rise to various bypasses that offer hikers moderate to advanced terrain and multiple rock scrambles. The loop entails a total elevation gain of 1,670 feet and a total distance of 5.5 miles.

The start of the trail begins at the (white blazes) at the north side of the tunnel on route 9D. Follow the Breakneck Ridge Trail (white blazes) up a 1.5 mile rocky ascent to fourth peak. Make a left turn at the Breakneck Bypass (red blazes) and follow the trail until you reach a sign for Wilkinson Memorial Trail. Turn right at the junction onto Wilkinson Memorial Trail (yellow blazes). Finally, enjoy a short half-mile ascent to summit of sugar loaf! Follow the Wilkinson Memorial Trail 0.5 miles back to the parking on route 9d for a short cut back to your car.

If you want to shorten the loop, make the left onto the Breakneck Bypass Trail and as opposed to making a right onto Wilkinson Memorial Trail, continue straight back to the parking area.

For the longer (6 mile) hike of breakneck ridge, check out Shaun O'neill's Hike Breakneck Ridge adventure. For the straight shot to Sugarloaf Mountain check out the adventure Hike Sugarloaf Mountain.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Lunch
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
Show More
RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1670 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Loved It!

Thought it was a great hike! Felt as though I was mountain climbing at times as opposed to just hiking which was super fun!!

Worth The Scramble

I was honestly intimidated by this hike. But my friend and I made it up and along the way took our time and enjoyed stunning views of the Hudson and surrounding hills. It was crowded the weekend we went even though it was a couple of weeks after Labor Day weekend. There are a lot of good options for easier ways up that are clearly designated along the trail. We madeit to the third "top" out of what we were told were four total; but we decided to start our way back down because it was close to sunset. I'm glad we did because trying to go down that mountain and the scramble in the dark would've been crazy. We basically crab walked and slid our way down the mountain. It was fun but a little rough. we drove back to Coldspring for a wonderful dinner and back into the city. All in all I can't wait to go back again.

Hudson Valley Highlands

This was my first hike for this area and I absolutely enjoyed it. If you enjoy a good scramble, Breakneck is it. Add the views of the Hudson and surrounding region and its a great day. We also added South Beacon fire tower to the trip offering a view of the New York City skyline.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike Breakneck Ridge

523 Saves

Hike Sugarloaf Mountain

233 Saves

Hike the Washburn/Nelsonville/Undercliff Loop

31 Saves