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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Croton Point Kayaking

I had an epiphany on the way to the Echo Canoe Launch last Saturday. We have two touring kayaks, a red, white and blue Dagger Charleston we call “The Bomb Pop” and a 17-foot red Wilderness Systems Sealution sometimes known as the “Cherry Bomb.”

In the past, I would let Junior choose which one he wanted to paddle. My usual approach was to say “The Bomb Pop is lighter and more stable but the Cherry Bomb is also very stable and even though it’s heavier, it’s also faster so once it’s in the water, it won’t feel heavier. Which one do you want to paddle?” He would always choose the Bomb Pop, I think because it’s somehow less intimidating.

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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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