Breakneck Ridge All Over Again

Sugarloaf Mountain, Hudson Highlands State Park, NYAs I thought I might, I did repeat the Halloween hike on Election Day. There was no school, and no real election in Wilton CT, to keep either my youngest or myself at home. And the views this time were mist-free. So, if the hike notes below are not much changed from last week’s, I can at least post photographs (some the work of my daughter, duly acknowedged). The scene to the right is the Hudson River 900 feet below Sugarloaf Mountain.

Start & Finish: Parking area on NY 9D, 2.0 mi north of Cold Spring.
Route: Breakneck Ridge (White) and Notch (Blue) trails out, Wilkinson Memorial (Yellow) return. Turn-around point where Blue and Yellow trails first meet.
Distance: 5.5 mi approx.
Time: 5.0 hrs (8:30 – 1:30).
Terrain: Rough – scrambles; many short, steep ups and downs; rocky even when relatively flat.  I was surprised to hike no faster here than I did in the White Mountains (and this without a full pack).
Map: NY-NJ Trail Conference East Hudson Trails (#102).
Link(s): NY-NJ Trail Conference (not exactly the same hike).

Weather: Chilly (40s mostly) but bright.
Wildlife: A flock  of songbirds darting among small trees on a sunny summit. Gray-ish, I think, with a pale orange breast.

Photos: Here.
Breakfast: Bagels and coffee from Bob’s Corner Store in Beacon.
Lunch: On our way home – a well-earned burger in Fishkill.
Ups:
–  South-facing views from Sugarloaf Mountain.
–  Patches of brilliant light and colors in the woods.
Downs:
–  Call me picky, but those views that reminded us we were never far from Beacon and Newburgh.
–  Great care needed to remain upright on some downhill stretches.
Kit: Gloves and wooly hats came off mid-morning. Poles useful on the descents.
Company: Only my 8th-grade daughter until a large pack of hikers at the very end.

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