Breakneck Loop, 11/13/21

Yesterday evening, on impulse, my brother-in-law Bill called me and asked me if I wanted to go hiking. And on impulse I said yes. He wanted to hike the Breakneck Ridge, Breakneck Bypass, Wilkinson Trail Loop in Beacon, New York; a friend of his had highly recommended it. He texted me a link via the AllTrails app; it was rated as difficult and I began to wonder what I had signed up for.

~This was my view from where I parked my car, looking across the river at Storm King Mountain. Breakneck Loop 11/13/21.~

In the morning, at the trail head, Bill and I read the sign which read: “WARNING: This is not just a walk in the park! Breakneck Ridge is a steep rock scramble that is for experienced hikers in excellent physical condition only”. Experienced hikers? Check. Excellent physical condition? Ummm, that might be a problem. In the first 3/4 of a mile we climbed 1,250 feet! But, we took it slowly and rested when we need to; doing it that way made it not too difficult for us. It was pretty exhilarating to reach the flags and check out the views at that point. It was a bonus to have a Peregrin Falcon hanging around the area. My camera was in my bag, so unfortunately not shots of that bird.

~Breakneck Loop 11/13/21.~

The rest of the way was less challenging than the first 3/4 mile. The loop in its entirety is listed as 2.8 miles, but for us, including getting to and from our cars it was just over three and a half miles. And it took over three hours to complete, lol. The signage indicates that it’s approximately a 3 hour loop, so I guess we weren’t moving too terribly slowly.

~Photo by Bill Barrett. Smile through the pain! Breakneck Loop 11/13/21.~

The descent was of course much more gradual; which was relaxing and allowed for Bill and I to catch up and talk more as we hiked. As for birds, it was typical hiking birding with not many species seen or heard. The list is short: Peregrine Falcon, Common Raven, Turkey Vulture, Ring-billed Gull, Eastern Bluebird, Black-capped Chickadee, and Dark-eyed Junco.

~Breakneck Loop; the view looking south down the Hudson River, 11/13/21. Photo by Bill Barrett.~

I got my best bird of the day on my way home – I stopped at the Beacon waterfront and found a single Bonaparte’s Gull out on the Hudson River. I waited the bird out and it eventually flew and I was able to get salvageable shot, in spite of screwing up my settings.

~Bonaparte’s Gull at Long Dock Park at the Beacon waterfront, 11/13/21.
~A Common Raven plays with a stick over the Hudson River. Breakneck Loop, 11/13/21.~

4 thoughts on “Breakneck Loop, 11/13/21”

  1. 1900 feet in elevation gain! Glad you said yes to going. I stopped at Cold Spring on way home and walked the town a little. Definitely a cool town to check out and if anyone does this hike I recommend hitting the town for a bite to eat or a reward beer!

    1. Yeah, Cold Spring is a cool town, I’m glad you stopped to explore it a bit. Thanks again for the invite, looking forward to the next hike.
      Matt

  2. Nice adventure for you guys. Great pictures Bill! Anytime you want to meet up in Cold Springs we are down. Love that town.

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