Site will become new trailhead for Brook Trail
A year after purchasing the closed Chalet on the Hudson near Breakneck Ridge for $1.875 million, the Open Space Institute has sold the 2-acre parcel to the New York state parks department for $1.71 million.
OSI announced its intention in December to transfer the property to the state. It’s the latest part of a plan by state agencies and nonprofit groups to improve safety and accessibility for drivers and pedestrians along the Route 9D corridor.
Breakneck Ridge, which was already one of the country’s most popular hiking trails, has seen a sharp increase in visitors over the past two years, as have the many trails that connect to it. One of those trails, the Brook Trail, offers no parking, forcing hikers to scurry across the busy highway.
The state plans to relocate the Brook Trail trailhead to the Chalet property, giving hikers a place to park. It also plans to add information kiosks. Eventually, the Chalet will be torn down and replaced with native vegetation.
Earlier this year, the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail completed the Nimham Trail, which offers a safer and quicker way down from Breakneck Ridge’s first summit, not to mention an easier way up for those who do not wish to scale the Ridge’s infamous rock scramble. The Fjord Trail’s next project will be a series of safety improvements this fall at the Breakneck Ridge train station.
After that, the Fjord Trail is planning a Breakneck Connector that will involve additional parking, a pedestrian bridge across the train tracks and re-routing the trailhead. Once completed, the connector will eliminate the need for hikers to cross or walk alongside Route 9D or to walk through the Breakneck Tunnel.