Breakneck Mountain is located on east bank of the Hudson River in New York. On the south side of the mountain is an abandoned quarry which at one time supplied granite for the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as the nearby Cornish estate.
Stories about the mountain's name vary: Some say it was named for a wild bull that was chased off the cliff by local farmers, others say it was named after a British spy who jumped to his death rather than be captured.
The mountain is about 1,200 feet tall. As part of Hudson Highlands State Park, it is a popular hiking spot. A trail starts at the base of the mountain by the Route 9D tunnel. About 450 feet up, off the trail to the left, there is a stone maintenance building for the Catskill Aqueduct, part of New York City's water supply. Climbing into the building through the front door, one can hear water rushing from the Catskills on its way to thirsty New Yorkers.
Further up the trail, one arrives at the first plateau. Breakneck can be deceptive that way. The trail goes up a series of "steps" so every time one comes to a plateau, they see there's even more mountain to climb.
The top of the mountain provides a panoramic view of the Hudson for miles. To the south, one can see the town of Cold Spring, and West Point Military Academy beyond that. Across the river is another huge mountain, Storm King. To the north, there is Bannerman's Castle on Pollopel Island, and in the distance, the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.
Want to go there? Take the Hudson Line train from NYC. A half-mile north of the tunnel is a Metro North station called Breakneck Ridge. Trains stop at there on Saturday, Sunday and holidays only.