Trailhead to be moved in first phase of Fjord Trail
The first section of the Breakneck Ridge trail — from the tunnel to the flagpole — will be closed beginning March 1 so that initial work can begin on what will eventually become the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail, a 7.5-mile linear park connecting Cold Spring and Beacon.
Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail Inc., a Scenic Hudson organization that is overseeing the Fjord Trail construction, said the project is being designed to manage crowds along Route 9D and among the trails of Hudson Highlands State Park, particularly Breakneck Ridge.
The first phase of the Fjord Trail, which is scheduled to be finished by July 1, will move the Breakneck trailhead off Route 9D and farther toward the Hudson River, where parking lots are planned.
The work requires the construction of a new structure for trail stewards and trail repair, the closing of unauthorized “social trails” created by hikers who go off-route and the creation of a set of stone steps that will lead up to the first major ascent.
Although the first section of the Breakneck Trail will be closed, the upper portions of the climb will remain accessible via the recently built Nimham Trail, which connects Breakneck’s first summit to the Wilkinson Memorial Trail.
The first major construction phase of the Fjord Trail, known as the Breakneck Bridge & Connector, is scheduled to begin next winter and projected to be completed by the end of 2025.
This phase will include the construction of a shared-use trail parallel to Route 9D from the Metro-North train station at Breakneck Ridge to the newly positioned trailhead, new parking areas, ADA-compliant restrooms, an ADA-compliant bridge over the train tracks and the replanting of native species. The full project is scheduled for completion by 2030.
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