New York City, NY: Breakneck Mountain Loop

Leave civilization behind on this 7.4-mile loop that connects mountaintop greenery, sweeping monoliths and low-lying swamps in southern Harriman State Park.
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Leave civilization behind on this 7.4-mile loop that connects mountaintop greenery, sweeping monoliths and low-lying swamps in southern Harriman State Park.

Quiet and, at times, slightly shrouded in rising fog from nearby rivers and reservoirs, the 7.4-mile loop to Breakneck Mountain offers a rare, accessible experience in seclusion. Commuter trains and highways are both less than 10 miles from the trailhead, but hikers would never know it. Turkey calls, rippling, seasonal streams, and rustling leaves are the only sounds permeating dense, sylvan woodlands on this trek to a 1,260-foot summit in the Ramapo Mountains.

From the Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trailhead, climb through lush woods dotted with gigantic, rock outcroppings. Turn onto the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail after about a mile and a half. The yellow-blazed singletrack traverses rolling hills of flowering bushes and offers up intermittent boulder scrambles.

After a short descent through a waist-high shrub corridor, a hidden, tree-lined lake laps up against rocky shores. The Breakneck Mountain Trail is only a 1,000 feet farther. Huff it over three ridgeline overlooks up to the summit. The views are not far-reaching by any means, but they do showcase gorgeous foliage in the fall. After a mile and a half, get back on the Tuxedo-Mounty Ivy Trail as it cuts through overgrown swampland. Retrace steps back to the trailhead.

-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan

PLAN IT

MAP: Download a park map at nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/145/maps.aspx

CONDITIONS: For current conditions, go to Bear Mountain, NY (10911) Weather.

INFO: Harriman State Park, (845) 786-2701; nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/145/details.aspx

OTHER RESOURCES

GEAR
REI
49 Fitzgerald St.
Yonkers, New York 10710
(914) 410-9500
rei.com

GROCERIES
Fairway Market
2328 12th Ave.
New York, NY 10027
(212) 234-3883
fairwaymarket.com

RESTAURANTS
Avanti Restaurant
1581 Route 202 # 148
Pomona, NY 10970
(845) 362-7278

Mt. Ivy Cafe
14 Thiells Mount Ivy Rd. # 2
Pomona, NY 10970
(845) 354-4746
mountivycafe.com

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 12.0

Waypoints

HAM001

Location: 41.185293, -74.074894

From parking lot and Tuxedo-Mount Ivory Trailhead, hike north toward the powerlines and access road.

HAM002

Location: 41.186186, -74.074971

Turn R onto the access road and head northeast. Look for the TMI blaze: a white box with a red stripe through the center. The trail follows the road, then veers left up a washed-out singletrack.

HAM003

Location: 41.188134, -74.072506

Turn L onto the washed-out singletrack.

HAM004

Location: 41.188547, -74.07227

Bear L @ T-junction.

HAM005

Location: 41.18836, -74.072958

Veer R @ Y-junction, heading into the woods.

HAM006

Location: 41.189098, -74.074614

Cross creek.

HAM007

Location: 41.190112, -74.075317

Go straight @ three-way.

HAM008

Location: 41.19341, -74.078397

Go L @ T-junction.

HAM009

Location: 41.193864, -74.079147

Go straight @ Y-junction. The trail to the right is also marked with white and red; however, it is designated with three arrows. Do not follow.

HAM010

Location: 41.19011, -74.087985

Turn R @ four-way junction merging onto the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. Look for the SBM's yellow blazes.

HAM011

Location: 41.197315, -74.082514

Go L @ Y-junction, staying on the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. A tree on the left with three white blazes indicates the junction with the Breakneck Mountain Trail is up ahead.

HAM012

Location: 41.198423, -74.083707

Cross creek.

HAM013

Location: 41.198796, -74.083839

Go straight @ four-way.

HAM014

Location: 41.206224, -74.088562

Pass Third Reservoir on the right. Walk down to the shore to enjoy the view, then work back to the trail.

HAM015

Location: 41.207733, -74.089747

Go L @ Y-junction, merging onto the Breakneck Mountain Trail.

HAM016

Location: 41.203197, -74.093853

Reach a broad rockface covered with cairns and large boulders, the first of three false summits.

HAM017

Location: 41.202814, -74.096319

Reach the second false summit, another rockface, with views to the east.

HAM018

Location: 41.200001, -74.097505

Pass the last false summit. Shortly thereafter, the summit appears to the left of the trail.

HAM019

Location: 41.199969, -74.098148

Pass Breakneck Mountain Summit (1,260 feet) on the left.

HAM020

Location: 41.196348, -74.104258

Go L @ Y-junction, merging back onto the Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trail.

HAM021

Location: 41.194657, -74.102102

Turn L @ T-junction.

HAM022

Location: 41.196417, -74.097934

Cross stream.

HAM023

Location: 41.195642, -74.093406

Go R @ Y-junction.

HAM024

Location: 41.194722, -74.093814

Turn L @ Y-junction. Look down the left of the trail, a partially hidden rock is painted with a red and white arrow.

HAM025

Location: 41.190075, -74.087999

Continue straight @ four-way junction to close the loop; from here, backtrack to the trailhead.

Forested Climb

Location: 41.192065, -74.077329

Boulder Field

Location: 41.192881, -74.078477

Hilltop Greenery

Location: 41.193684, -74.080848

Long Outcropping

Location: 41.200373, -74.085102

Shrub Oak Tunnel

Location: 41.202036, -74.086046

Third Reservoir

Location: 41.206233, -74.088498

Cairns

Location: 41.203206, -74.093771

Exposed Ridge

Location: 41.203166, -74.093803

Massive Rockfaces

Location: 41.202814, -74.096249

Back into the Woodland

Location: 41.202831, -74.096475