Hiking Breakneck Mountain
Last Saturday a friend asked me if I wanted to join him for a hike along the Hudson River. I happily agreed, imagining meandering along trails that would allow me to enjoy beautiful views of our majestic waterway.
Well, most of that was true. The views were spectacular! The weather was seasonably pleasant. And the trails were well marked. What I didn’t know was that we would not meander. We climbed….at times, straight up! It seems that we ascended what is called Breakneck Mountain which is part of the Hudson Highlands, namely the Fishkill Mountains. This mountain is part of a quarry which supplied rock to the area in the 1800′s. While rock from Breakneck Mountain is no longer quarried, many nature lovers enjoy the sights and sport the mountain still provides. I had no idea that I was going to be as challenged as I was. It’s not called “break neck” for nothing. What a treacherous climb, that involved using all fours as well as knees and butt to maneuver the rocky crevices and surfaces! Challenge was the word for it. And I, for one, was up for it and would do it again. I never once felt frightened, except when I took a more difficult path instead of the obvious one…one of life’s metaphors, I guess. Once at the top, the effort was well worth it. One can see the Hudson River Valley for miles north and south. Directly across was breathtaking Storm King and in the distance were many ranges of which I can’t begin to know the names. It’s a wonderful adventure for anyone who wants an exciting, exhilarating, autumn afternoon of exploration of our area. It’s appropriate to pay homage to this vast waterway that is such a party of our country’s history as we celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson claiming the area for the Dutch and the one hundred and second anniversary of the voyage of the Clermont, Samuel Fulton’s steamboat, which significantly changed commercial riverboat travel from then on.
Dare to hike Breakneck Mountain.