Hike the Sunset Point - South Beacon Mountain Loop

8.25 miles 1600 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by John Maurizi

This hike takes you out to a figure out loop with amazing views of the Hudson Highlands minus the crowds at lower Breakneck Ridge.

This loop hike form the Notch Trail northern trailhead on Route 9D.  There is enough parking at this trailhead for about 5-6 cars.  The Notch Trail is identified with blue trail markers.  It is well maintained and plenty of markers to guide your way.  This is important because there are many unmarked fire roads in this area and it is very easy to lose your way.  As part of this loop hike, the Notch Trail follows these fire roads until it joins the Wilkinson Memorial Trail.  At that point it turns to single track.

The Notch Trail is steep but manageable because it is  afire road (this section).  After about 1.5 miles, you reach the first stream crossing (Gordons Brook).  After crossing the brook, continue on the Notch Trail for another .5 miles until your second stream crossing (Squirrel Hollow Brook).  Here, the Notch Trail joins the Wilkinson Memorial Trail after crossing the brook.  Stay on the Notch Trail for another mile until you reach the Breakneck Ridge Trail (White trail markers).  Turn left onto Breakneck Ridge Trail. The trail gets steep and rocky as you ascend to Sunset Point.

After enjoying the views at Sunset Point, continue on Breakneck Ridge Trail as you descend and cross Squirrel Hollow Brook again further up stream.  The Breakneck Ridge Trail now ascends steeply the south side of South Beacon Mountain.  You may needs your hands to ascend here but you have a big payoff as you ascend three ledges along the exposed ridge with amazing views and no crowds like lower Breakneck Ridge.  Anther big payoff is the open fire tower at the summit of South Beacon Mountain.  You can climb to the top for unobstructed 360 degree views of the Hudson Highlands.

Continue down Breakneck Ridge Trail until it’s northern terminus on the Casino Trail (Red Markers).  Turn right here for a short distance until you meet the Wilkinson Trail again.  Turn right and descend easy fire roads.  You will join Breakneck Ridge Trail again but you quickly turn off to remain on the Wilkinson Trail until it merges with the Notch Trail at Squirrel Hollow Brook.  Turn right going down hill and all the way back to the trailhead.

This hike is about 8.25 miles with an elevation gain of 1600 feet. 

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Overall rating: 

Amazing hike!

Climbing bouldering rocks was absolutely the best part of this trail. Wear strong hiking shoes and you’re in for a great hike

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