Hudson Highlands Fjord: Double Double

Growing up in the Hudson Highlands, for me, has been a gift. There’s something about those peaks plunging down to the mighty Hudson River. I have enjoyed trips to far off places, but there is nothing quite like coming home. Not too big, not too small and never short on adventure, they always deliver.

Sandy Beach
Sandy Beach

Freebird grew up here and knows this place too. He was on a brief visit from his home in the North Country so, with good weather and a full moon, we decided to go on a mission. The plan was straightforward. Paddle across the Hudson from Cold Spring, climb Storm King Mountain, paddle across again and climb Breakneck Ridge, then paddle back. With two climbs and two crossings we decided to nickname it the Double Double.

Continue reading

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.

Anthony's Flag

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading