ANTHONY’S NOSE

GPS: 41.322549, -73.975861

TIME: 1H 48M

LENGTH: 2.7 MILES

ELEVATION: 899 ft

WHAT’S UP!

It’s been so long since I’ve done a local trail! So I was really happy to drive up to the Bear Mountain area and tackle this one. It took us 1H 48M but that includes time we used to take pictures and hang out on the money spot. I’m going to have to go back and do it start to finish without picture breaks to give you a real hike time. I’ll make sure to update this post when I do!

HIKE INFO

We parked right on the road on 9D and walked up to this trailhead.

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Here’s a close up of the Appalachian trail map from the Hudson River to Connecticut. HERE’s a great website for an interactive map for the whole thing. I have to admit I think it’s pretty cool we have the ability to hike a small portion of this hike. Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll do one of these long trails start to end…

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So awesome to spot this trail marker 🙂

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So… up we go. The first section is a bunch of “stairs” that are essentially very well placed rocks. We climbed for a little more than half a mile following the white trail blazers.

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Afterwards you’ll come across this tree with three blue trail blazers. Make a right here and go up the now much easier portion of the trail. You can see Nicole and Kelly below stopping to wait for me to take my pictures 🙂

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It’s pretty easy strolling from here on out. In the picture below you can see the trail heading towards a small pond. More on that later!

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I totally forgot to take a picture of the junction where you need to make a right to get to the money spot. So here’s a picture from my favorite hiking blog Hike The Hudson to show you where to make the right. This junction will be where the blue trail makes a left but you’ll be making the right.

And then Boom! The money spot! Nicole took this awesome picture of me and Bear Mountain bridge. To the left of the bridge is the zoo and to the right of the bridge is the Rte 9W bridge that goes over Popolopen creek.

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Here’s what the view looks like facing south. Kelly was in perfect position for a very patriotic picture. I love how American flags are erected at most hikes around the Hudson River.

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Also, doggy! Really wish I would’ve been able to pet him. Doesn’t he look majestic posing for the picture?

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So on the way down we just retraced our steps. This time we stopped at the little pond we walked past on the way up and took some time for important stuff: being very silly .

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And then I spotted something.

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I could not believe I found frog eggs. I wasn’t even sure that’s what I was looking at. But then a bunch of tadpoles swam around and we were certain they were. HERE’s a quick link for reference with pictures. We even spotted salamanders today.

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Like I said, retrace your steps all the way down. Or up lol. The trail goes up and down until you hit those “stairs” again. Then it’s down to the trail head and your car. I had two bananas waiting in there for me. I hope if you go you have snacks waiting for you too.

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I follow this awesome blog for hike ideas called Hike the Hudson. If you’re interested in reading his version of this hike, click HERE. Otherwise, here are some awesome pictures we took while hanging on Anthony’s Nose. I’m looking forward to doing it again this summer.

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If you didn’t use all your limbs, was it even a good picture?

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“Let’s play hide and seek in the mountains”

-Unknown

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HOH RAINFOREST

GPS: 47.860714, -123.934639

DATE: MARCH 8, 2019

HI THERE!

While doing my research for visiting Olympic National Park I found some pretty interesting things about the park. It has mountains full of snow and everything winter while simultaneously being home to a temperate rainforest. It sounded interesting and I began looking through pictures and could not believe the amount of moss present. So without hesitation I added it to the list of must see places while in Washington.

For context think about this: In New York we get about 42 inches of rainfall annually. In the HOH rainforest however, they get 140-170 inches of rainfall annually. And 30 inches of that is from the fog alone! The visitor center has plenty of information for those seeking to be informed hikers. They have free pamphlets with drawings to help you identify plant life and animal prints.

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GETTING THERE

From the town of Forks, WA, the drive is 45 minutes. From Port Angeles it’s closer to 2 hours. And what a drive it is! You can watch the trees changing in height, color and type as you approach the park. You’ll arrive to the booth to pay admission. We paid $30 on a credit card. The fee grants you access for the week.

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HOH RAINFOREST

I just love seeing these brown signs! I get so excited when I cross the threshold of a national park. As though I have made it to a secret land where only beauty, fresh air and freedom exist! This is one of two we saw on our way in.

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Right outside the visitor center there is a bulletin board with information about the surrounding area. There are maps and daily weather updates which are super helpful if you’re doing the long hike. The hall of mosses is .8 miles, the Spruce Trail is 1.2, and the HOH river trail is 35 miles to Blue Glacier (not this time ONP!) and back.

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I spotted this wild Diana perched on a trail sign (Haha!) The trails are all very different lengths and the mini trail which isn’t shown here is wheelchair accessible.

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Right after crossing a cute little bridge over a stream that’s a small vein of the HOH river you climb a short way up. Passing this gorgeous tree just commanding your attention. It’s impressive when you look to its last branches. IT. IS. TALL.

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Soon you arrive to a sign pointing you in the direction of the Hall of Mosses loop. It was fun reading that we were entering an older part of the forest. Primeval spirit? Yes, absolutely…

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The higher we climbed the more snow was present. Or ice I should say as it was a little slippery. This beautiful tree looked like it was taking a nap. Or taking a bow. I don’t know. I just know this tree was way more graceful than anyone I’ve ever seen.

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Look at this amazing moss!!!

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So green!!!

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I couldn’t help myself so I hugged this gentle giant. I owe so many good shots to my sister Diana. She grabbed some great pictures. But we also shared some good laughs with the phones put away in our pockets or backpacks.

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Amidst our walk we spotted this hoof print. We weren’t sure how fresh it was but how cool!? Was he coming or going?

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My sister saw this tree and claimed it as her own. She said there was enough room in there to call it a condo. A one bedroom condo she said by New York City’s standards lol.

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This fungus was interesting. When seen higher up in the trees it looks like there are sea turtles sticking out from the tree showing their under bellies.

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I asked my sister to sit on the other side of this log. We sat for a couple of minutes in silence and closed our eyes. We concentrated on the sounds of the rainforest, birds, stream and trees. There weren’t many other people at the park so we were able to take it in unbothered.

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Before leaving the HOH rainforest (when I least expected it and wasn’t looking at her) Diana was taking a rest. She said that it helped her hips and back after laying there for a little bit. I believe the poor thing. We were using every ounce of daylight to sightsee everything we could.

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The hall of mosses was gorgeous. We were so happy to have seen this part of the Olympic National Park. Considering the time of year it was, it wasn’t nearly as cold as we anticipated. Chilly yes, but not cold…

If you’d like to see more about this trip, click the links below:

“Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle”

-Unknown

RIALTO BEACH HIKE

HEY THERE!

Looking for the sentimental exciting (maybe boring?) stuff from our trip to the PNW?! Check out THIS post for all the feels regarding this trip.

Looking for more posts related to this trip? Click below:

For those of you strictly interested in Rialto Beach info, here you go:

GPS: 47.921225, -124.638120


TIME: 2 HOURS


LENGTH: 3 MILES

SUPER IMPORTANT!!!

  • Please make sure you check the tide charts to ensure a successful visit. We were up before sunrise to make it to Rialto by low tide. Parts of the beach are impassable if the tide is in.
  • Now… back to your regularly scheduled program 🙂

GETTING THERE

From Port Angeles my sister Diana and I drove west on the 101 for 52 miles. That was about an hour-long. Then we turned right on 110 and drove west for just under 8 miles. And then another right on Mora Rd for another 5 miles. It was super easy to find. I downloaded an offline map from google maps right to my phone as I knew I wouldn’t have service. Your cell phone provider should have maps online of where you have coverage. Total trip takes about an hour and a half if you’re not stopping for pictures at Lake Crescent.

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Sunrise behind us on our drive to Rialto Beach.

The further west we drove the colder it got. The snow and ice were more present.

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This picture is from Mora Rd.

And then, after driving through 5 miles of beautiful snow-covered trees the ocean appeared. The formations in the distance in this picture are from across the Quillayute River. They are A-Ka-Lat (James Island) and Little James Island. Great read on that HERE directly from the Quileute Nation website.

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RIALTO BEACH

When you arrive to the beach you’ll see these two signs posted, you made it to the beach! Turn right and you’ll find parking, a pit toilet (very clean!) and some signage regarding the area.

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Fence to the left leading to the reservation was closed.
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The trail map box was empty. It’s a relatively easy walk out and back so luckily it wasn’t needed.
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Snap a pic and you’ll have your guide of the area.

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“The sea makes the rules”

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We parked across from the pit toilet because we knew we were heading north on the beach. You can cross the massive driftwood right away towards the ocean and make a right once on the sand to begin. We chose to walk through the designated picnic area first and then cross the driftwood.

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My sister heading down to the beach.

We walked north approximately an hour on the beach. We thought we were the only ones there because there were no cars in the lot. Turns out there was another pair walking around too. We found two sets of small prints, seemingly from earlier in the morning amongst our fresher set.

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Raccoon maybe?

There’s also something to be said about the sand/rocks we were walking on. Since day’s first light hadn’t hit the beach yet it was very crunchy. Ice was holding the stones together and it actually helped with walking.

We reached Ellen Creek. We crossed and there are definitely parts that are deeper than they look. I’m talking entire foot and ankles deep. Really glad my sister and I planned for this and had appropriate footwear. The rest of the hike would not have been as much fun.

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After walking 1.5 miles, we made it to these GIGANTIC stacks. They’re so large they don’t seem so far, but it took us just about 45 mins to reach them.

The hole-in-the-wall can be seen in the following picture. Never having hiked with keeping tides in mind we chose not to add the extra half mile (RT) to the hole. We were already concerned with the tide creeping in through the stacks in the time we were there.

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On our way back towards the car we found the beach sublime! (Sorry terrible attempt at using sublimation in a joke to describe the picture below).

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We also found Ellen Creek a little deeper.

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I hope this was helpful and informative! I’ll leave some pretty nice pics we grabbed here. Feel free to send me a message or comment if you have any questions about Rialto Beach. I will do my best to answer them 🙂 When you have some time to spare and are interested in seeing what else we did in the PNW, you can read about it HERE.

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I could never stay long enough on the shore. The tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought, and the shells and pebbles and the seaweed with tiny living creatures attached to it never lost their fascination for me.

-Helen Keller

OLYMPIC PENINSULA – DAY 1

This post is one of four. It’s about my sister and I setting out to see the Pacific North West. Well, as much as we could in the time we had. She had school and I had work come Monday morning BUT THE LONG WEEKEND WAS OURS TO CONQUER!!! [insert fun, evil, maybe not so evil but slightly delusional from lack of sleep laugh here]

For those of you who came here in search of information for your own trip, or simply don’t care for the somewhat mundane fluffy stuff. I’m providing you with an out. Below you will find links to all the posts directly relating to the things Diana and I did in and around the city of Seattle. If upon reading this they’re not all updated, I promise I’m working diligently to get it all on here ASAP. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask 🙂

Now, where were we? Ah, yes! How were two girls who had never been to the state of Washington going to pull off covering 20 hours worth of distance and still make it back to the airport in time? (Say that out loud with one breath!)

I planned vigorously!

We also knew it was important to sleep on the flight because we were going into road trip mode the minute we landed. So we took a selfie and assumed the position. I had window and was propped up by all the sweaters/scarves. And Diana was middle and leaned on my shoulder/back. And before we knew it we were at SEA-TAC.

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We rented a car from E-Z and I couldn’t have been happier. FYI, you have to take a shuttle from the terminals to get to the rental counters. There are signs everywhere for the bus stop to get there.

Once at the rental are, all the other companies had long lines. However, we walked right up to the counter. After signing the contracts we took the elevator down to be greeted by two lovely women. They gave us keys and had us on our way.

Side Note: I used to work in rental many years ago. When you get a vehicle that has damage but you don’t want to risk being delayed an hour, take ALL THE PICTURES. Our car had a broken license plate and marks all over the rear side. This is more of a precautionary thing I do to avoid issues upon return.

We were so excited to be on the road! First stop: Jack in the Box. My sister and I had never had it before. Wouldn’t you know it, the cook is out and they can’t prepare anything but fries and nuggets. So, reluctantly that’s what we ate. Whatever, excitement kept us going because we couldn’t believe it. We were in SEATTLE!!!

It was also sunny and the warmth of the sun felt amazing!

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That is until we got further west as we headed to Port Angeles.

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During our first hours in Washington we experienced sunshine, rain, sunshine again, and then sleet. I would say that was a pretty appropriate welcoming.

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We were staying at the Super 8 in Port Washington. Few things to note regarding our stay. They were very cost-effective, free breakfast started at 6am, and the receptionist that checked us in was extremely knowledgable about Olympic National Park and the surrounding areas. She gave us a bunch of maps and answered some important questions I had. The rooms may not be the newest, but we got a great deal and we really just needed a place to shower and sleep.

Like I said, we had a lot of ground to cover and very limited time. We dumped our luggage in the hotel room, changed into hiking gear, and headed over to the Safeway supermarket to grab essentials for our two days in the peninsula.

Our first stop was Lake Crescent. There is a great pull off viewpoint you can’t miss due to its massive sign. But in case you do, here are the coordinates: 48.073554, -123.773199 It’s right before sledge hammer point and 28 minutes from the Super 8. There are a few pull off points to enjoy some decent views.

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From this point it’s another 3 minutes to the Storm King Ranger station where the trails for the Lake Crescent pier, Marymere Falls, and Storm King begin. We parked in front of the sign ready to brave the cold. The station itself was closed, but the bathrooms to the left of this sign were open.

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We hiked in mud, snow and ice to Marymere Falls. I have a post about it HERELet’s just say it was interesting to see how fast it got dark out.

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Afterwards we headed to Sergio’s Hacienda where we devoured a veggie burrito and chicken en crema dishes.

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“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.”

Margaret Mead

BLACK ROCK FOREST HIKE

GPS: 41.41867, -74.01048

TIME: 3H 40M

LENGTH: 5.5 MILES

ELEVATION: 1,391 ft

HI THERE!

Let me tell you about my first hike of 2019! (Please feel free to skip this and scroll directly to the hike info below). We saw about a dozen people throughout the hike, and half of them with four-legged friends. I will pet any dog that let’s me, and two big fluff balls did just that. So pups on the trail are always a plus for me!

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I am also a fan of running water during hikes. It’s so soothing. I had read that there are several creeks along this hike and was excited to see more water than usual. It rained the night before and drizzled on our way there. Little did I know that precipitation was going to be a pretty big theme for this hike.

I experienced something at Black Rock Forest that I have never experienced anywhere else in New York. Lake Effect! As we walked further into the trees we could hear precipitation falling. However, since it rained the night before we three assumed it was rain. I stuck my hand out to confirm the rain because it sounded a little different as it hit the ground. I caught a couple of teeny tiny hail-like snowballs. And just as quick as it started it would stop intermittently.

When we reached the summit what we saw in the distance and assumed was fog, was in fact a storm rolling in. FAST! I was posing for pictures for my IG and then it hit us in the face! You can see the video on my page HERE [WARNING: I curse in those videos] #sorrynotsorry

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The face I make when I realize it’s actually a snowstorm coming in!
Hike Info
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Go up the Stone Staircase and walk right past the green gate on the gravel road.

Cross Mailley’s Mill Bridge.

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Cross the second bridge.

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Follow the trail upstream (Blue Trail).

The Blue Trail ends where you cross the stream. If it rained the night before or that morning, be prepared to get wet. The water flowed right above the top of my Palladiums. Luckily they were tied tightly and close to nothing got in. The top of my socks got a little wet, but it was fine. Way better than squishy toes if you ask me. I was impressed and very happy about it considering we were just starting our 6.58 mile day.

 

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The rocks looked like they would be high enough to keep me out of the water.

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But then my right foot drops right into the water!

Back on the gravel road make a right uphill (Yellow Trail). Stay left at the fork and walk to the reservoir bank. Appreciate the stillness for a moment like my best friend Nicole does.

 

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There are a couple of log benches there as well. But please no swimming!

Continue walking on the road next to the reservoir.

After the “No Trespassing No Swimming” sign (facing away from you as you approach it) walk between the two yellow posts up ahead. But if you pass the yellow gate you’ve gone too far.

Turn right to continue on the Blue trail. It will be marked with three blue blazes on a tree and a couple of stepping-stones. We retraced our steps a couple of times here looking for the blue blazes. Trust me, just walk past those two yellow posts and in less than a minute you’ll see a tree with the blue blazes.

Ignore the white trail and stay on the blue trail until you reach the gravel road. Turn right on the gravel road and stay on it briefly.

Turn left at the wooden gate (it was closed so we walked around it). Keep walking and you’ll come across another reservoir. Walk around the right side of the reservoir. If it’s rained then you’ll definitely hear the water. So pretty!

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Cross the bridge over the bottom section of the spillway.

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Continue to walk up the small hill alongside the reservoir until you are standing at the bank.

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Directly behind you there is a tree with two Yellow and two Teal blazes you’ll follow into the woods.

Once again ignore the white trail and continue following the Yellow/Teal trail. Soon after the white trail blazes pay close attention to the Yellow/Teal trail as it turns sharply to the right. You’ll see the gravel road to your left (don’t go that way!).

You’ll emerge onto Black Rock. Look at the view! No, seriously, look! That is lake effect heading my way. I thought it was a fog to be honest. And then in minutes we were all hit in the face by snow! Check out my post HERE to see videos of it coming in and surprising us all!

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Ready to head down? Look out towards the view and then go left. You’ll see Yellow and Teal markers on the rocks.

Follow the trail all the way to the gravel road and turn left.

When you get to the intersection there will be a podium with a map. Make a left.

In a moment you’ll come across another intersection with a huge tree in the middle. Make a left.

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In about 10 minutes you’ll come across two boulders. Walk between the boulders and hop onto “Buster’s Bend.”

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After a short walk find the Yellow and Teal trail again. Make a right onto the trail towards the reservoir.

Follow the Yellow/Teal trail carefully as the White trail makes an appearance again.

Cross over the spillway bridge again.

Right after the bridge jump onto the White trail on the left.

Climb the stairs when you get to them, this is the White trail continued. We were on this trail for 15 minutes.

When the White Trail ends, which is marked by three White blazes, you’ll make a left onto the Blue Trail (this area is close to the first bridge you crossed earlier in your hike).

You’ll cross “Ben’s Bridge.”

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Immediately after crossing the bridge, start following the Red Trail.

The Red Trail is going to meander for a while until you get back to your car.

The guide we read and followed HERE stated the hike was 5.4 miles and 3.5 hours long. However, with taking pictures and retracing our steps a few times, we did a total of 6.58 miles in almost the same amount of time!

 

I hope this post is helpful. Even if it helps one person have an better hiking experience, it’ll have been worth it. Until next hike!

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. — John Muir

 

BREAKNECK RIDGE – OPTION 1

GPS: 41.443263, -73.977531

TIME: 2H

LENGTH: 3.7 MILES

ELEVATION: 1,442 ft

I had received a text from my friend Nicole asking if I would be interested in going for a hike. Without hesitating I said yes. I had gone hiking before in Cold Spring Harbor in Huntington. Cold Spring is 1.8 miles long and has an elevation gain of 377 ft. This however, was not going to be easy….

We parked the car on the side of the road of 9D near the trailhead. During the summer months there is a table set up for hikers with volunteers handing out trail maps and information. They are so helpful and answer so many questions. There are also a set of port-a-potties set up near the trailhead.

So we started this hike at 10:00am and it took us 4 long sweaty hours to complete. We took a dozen breaks while scrambling and perched on several rocks. Thank goodness for the water we brought with us because it was much-needed. Gotta stay hydrated!!!

HIKE INFO

Right away the hike starts gaining elevation. The trail goes over the 9D tunnel and the white trail begins. This is the Breakneck Ridge Trail. You’ll follow this trail all the way up to the first lookout. There are areas where the white trail goes left or right (marked by white arrows). We went left because we were told it was the easier way up. Upon return trips however, we’ve taken the right side. The right side is definitely scarier as it’s exposed to the sheer drop offs, but better views for sure. I’ll add some of those additional pictures from other trips at the end of this post.

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Ever so often you should take a look over your shoulder when you need a break. You could miss some pretty neat views of the Hudson as you make your way up.

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You will need both your hands and feet for the scrambling. I suggest taking off any rings you don’t want to bang up too badly.

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We took a rest and got this nice pano with Storm King across the river to the left. I’ve done that hike as well and I’ll make sure to write a post about that fun hike soon!

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Just keep climbing.

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Some markers will be nailed onto tree trunks, others will be white rectangular blazes spray painted onto trees or rocks.

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Luckily for us the trail was dry on this first attempt. It takes longer and demands more efforts when it has rained or still has ice on the ground.

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Finally you get to the flag you can see when driving north on 9D. Stop and take in the scenery, it’s nice up there!

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There are plenty of people swapping phones for photo opportunities. So Nicole and I snagged this picture at the flag with the Hudson in the background.

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I was feeling particularly brave that day and decided to head down to a better vantage point. Fair warning though, jumping down was pretty easy. The climbing back up was not. It took some momentum and jumping to reach the ledge I’d so willingly jumped down from lol. Lesson learned!

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Pretty views though!

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After letting all the sights sink in for a bit, we continued our hike. The white trail is met by the yellow Undercliff Trail pictured below. We made this right and bid the white trail goodbye.

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The yellow trail has undergone many changes since we first hiked there. Markers have been moved and “stairs” have been put in place. There are areas where you gain elevation, but overall you are now heading down to complete the loop. We did see a snake that we believe to be a milk snake while on the yellow trail. He was way more scared of me than I of him and he quickly slithered away. I didn’t have time to snap a picture but here’s exactly what it looked like and a quick description.

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There’s a green trail you can take to make the loop shorter. But we continued on the yellow until we got to this Murray’s Bridge.

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Here’s a picture of Nicole slipping on the rocks around the creek. It is very slippery. Shortly after I fell as well because why not? LOL! I saved my phone from ending up in the water, which was in my hand on the way down.

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While walking the yellow trail you’ll encounter the red trail which is called the Brook Trail. This is the trail that will later dump you out onto 9D to your car.

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It’s very well-marked and hard to miss.

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The Cornish Estate lies between the red and blue trail (Brook Trail and Cornish Trail respectively). There’s some pretty neat ruins throughout the area.

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Finally when you make it to the road, make a right. It’s just a quick walk to make your way through the tunnel and back to your car. And you’re done!

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Like I said, the first time we did this hike it took us four hours! We have done this hike several times now. It takes us approximately 2 hours now to do start to finish. As promised, here are some pictures from the other times we’ve done the hike. Enjoy!

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