Hot Spot - Breakneck Ridge and Hudson Highlands State Park, NY

Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park is experiencing severe impacts from outdoor activities and is one of the many Hot Spots in 2018. With site-specific training, consulting, educational programs, service projects and more, these threatened areas can be put on a road to a healthy recovery.

The Breakneck Ridge Trail in Hudson Highlands State Park is in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Though less than a half-mile long, this trail is considered to be the most strenuous hike in the East Hudson Highlands. The hike features stunning views of the Hudson River, Storm King Mountain, and the surrounding Hudson Highlands. The trail has become increasingly popular over the last five years and in turn, has seen a substantial increase in visitation. On weekend days with good weather, this short trail can see between 1000 to 1500 visitors making the trek to the top. This rise in popularity has brought along severe impacts in the form of trail erosion, litter and vandalism/graffiti. 

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is teaming up with the New York State Parks Department and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to execute a site-specific blend of training for agency staff, targeted education programs for local youth and adults, resource monitoring programs, service work and expert consultation. The primary objective these efforts are improvement of on the ground resource conditions, increased awareness of impacts on the trail, elevated Leave No Trace programs within agency management plans and increased practice of Leave No Trace skills and ethics by the visiting public. The Center's goal is to bring long-term solutions to the Breakneck Ridge Trail that will help it on its road to recovery.