Fire on Breakneck Ridge: Trails Reopened Mar. 14

March 9, 2020

Update March 14: All trails will reopen Saturday morning.  Hikers may come across smoldering stumps. Please report concerns to the Hudson Highlands State Park office at (845) 225-7207.

Update March 11: From New York State Parks: The brush fire at Hudson Highlands State Park is under control—the Wilkinson Memorial, Breakneck Ridge, Breakneck Bypass and the Undercliff trails remain CLOSED until further notice as crews continue to clean up any hazardous debris.


A fire began on Breakneck Ridge near Cold Spring, N.Y., early afternoon Monday, March 9.

On the morning of Tuesday, March 10, officials reported 150 acres at Breakneck have burned. Fires continue to burn north and east. The current fire line is Breakneck Bypass Trail.  Twenty New York State Parks Taconic staff are fighting the fire, as are 20 DEC Rangers. Two Helicopters are dumping water from the Hudson onto the fires. DEC is using a drone for assessment and strategy planning purposes. The Metro North Fire Chief was onsite at this morning's briefing. Officials have stated the fire was caused by a train.

Route 9D has reopened but the Wilkinson and Breakneck trailheads remain closed. Eleven cars in the Breakneck parking lot have burned; all hikers were evacuated and no injuries were reported. Our Trail Conference Stewards' shed, supplies, and educational materials, worth approximately $6,000, were completely reduced to ashes. Those fires are all now extinguished.

The Wilkinson Trail is closed. The Breakneck Trail is closed. The Breakneck Bypass Trail is closed.  The trails remain dangerous; NYS Parks is in the process of clearing hazardous conditions.Stay tuned for a call for volunteer assistance.

As a reminder, we all have a responsibility when exploring nature to help protect the land we love. For a safe, enjoyable experience on trails—and to ensure our mountains and forests remain green and healthy—please practice Leave No Trace principles and spread the word about the small steps we can all take to make a big difference! 

Thanks to Pierce Johnston for sharing his photos.