Hudson Highlands: Anthony’s Nose Hike

“What can be more imposing than the precipitous Highlands, whose dark foundations have been rent to make a passage for the mighty river?” — Thomas Cole, 1841


When driving east across the iconic Bear Mountain Bridge, a towering, rocky peak looms overhead on the eastern shore of the Hudson River. If you look closely, you can just make out the tan and gray rocky outcropping marked with an American flag often whipping in the wind. Dwarfed in its imposing shadow on a cool summer morning, one cannot help but feel the same sense of awe described by the famed Hudson River School artists and writers in the mid nineteenth century.

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Hudson Highlands: Breakneck Ridge Loop

While the Hudson Highlands are modest in elevation, they are home to some incredible hiking. What the peaks lack in height they make up for with incredible views of the Hudson Valley and convenient access for those in the metro area.

breakneck ridge summit view

Proximity to the Hudson Highlands was a major selling point for my wife and I when we moved to Rockland County. Each time I climb one of the local summits and take in the beauty of the region, it reaffirms that we made a great decision.

There are countless options for hikes in the Hudson Valley, but my personal favorite is Breakneck Ridge. The steepness and exposure — unrivaled south of the Adirondacks — make for a challenging and memorable experience.

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Wildcat Ridge: Dryland Season Comes Early

With freezing rain forecast for Sunday in southern Vermont, I decided to catch up on sleep and stay local. I don’t mind skiing in that stuff, but I’d prefer not to drive in it. After a leisurely breakfast, I set out for a run in Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Rockaway, NJ.

wildcat ridge boulders

Wildcat Ridge covers about 3700 acres. With the nearby Mt Hope Park, Picatinny Arsenal, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, and the Rockaway Valley WMA, you’re looking at around 17,000 contiguous acres of open land. Compared to New York’s big parks, that’s a drop in a bucket, but there are plenty of opportunities to run, mountain bike, and, at times, in the winter, you can even ski. If you’re ambitious,  you can go off trail to look for signs of the old ski jump at Lake Telemark.

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