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Backpacker Magazine – October 2009

Top 3 Battlefield Hikes

Close your eyes and hear the bullets fly: These three routes pass through parks drenched in United States military history.

by: Nancy Prichard Bouchard

Big Hole National Battlefield, MT (Chuck Haney)
Big Hole National Battlefield, MT (Chuck Haney)

HUDSON HIGHLANDS STATE PARK, NY
Trace the Revolutionary War.

In 1777, the British Army launched an offensive to gain control of the strategically critical Hudson River. Known as the British Northern Campaign, it was a major turning point in the war: The Redcoats lost, and their general, John Burgoyne, surrendered. There's no better view of the historic Hudson River Valley site than from atop 1,610-foot Mt. Beacon, the highest point in the Hudson Highlands. The mountain's name derives from its war-era role: It was used to signal to George Washington–at his headquarters across the river in Newburgh–if the Brits were advancing up the river. Pick up the white-blazed Breakneck Ridge Trail a quarter-mile past the Breakneck Metro-North train station and return via the Breakneck Bypass to the Wilkinson Trail for a strenuous, 9.6-mile day.

Reload
Warm up with a hot buttered rum-flavored cocoa at The Muddy Cup. (845) 440-8855

The Way
Take Metro-North's Hudson Valley line (weekends only) to Breakneck Ridge Station. Or take Taconic St. Pky. to I-84 W, exit at NY 9D, and go two miles to a parking area.




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