Countdown to 2030
While large-scale projects like the Fjord Trail need to be carefully planned and scheduled, factors like weather, funding, or global pandemics can cause revisions to the timeline. We are working hard to move the project forward towards our anticipated completion date of 2030 and will share updates as progress is made. If you would like to receive our e-newsletter, please subscribe here.
Upper Overlook and Breakneck Ridge Trailhead
Work at Breakneck Ridge Trailhead and Upper Overlook is complete! The trail reopened to the public on July 1, following months of work that included the relocation of the trailhead farther up Breakneck Ridge, repair of eroding trail surfaces, improved stormwater management along the trail, installation of stone steps leading up to the Breakneck ascent, and construction of a new Trail Steward Station. This initial work at Upper Overlook marks the launch of Phase 1: Breakneck Connector & Bridge of the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail (read more about Phase 1 below).
Starting in fall of 2020, the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail partnered with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) on creating the Nimham Trail, a half-mile connector between the first scenic overlook on Breakneck Ridge and the Wilkinson Memorial Trail.
The Nimham Trail is now open! It makes the steep trip down easier and safer for thousands of hikers who annually make the views from Breakneck their objective—and will help protect the habitat along these ridgeline scrambles and reduce erosion.
IN PROGRESS: PHASE 1
Breakneck Connector and Bridge
Planning and construction work on Phase 1 of the Fjord Trail, the Breakneck Connector and Bridge, began in 2022.
Planned enhancements will significantly improve the current parking situation, implementing new restrictions that will create a safer environment for trail users and motorists on Route 9D. In order to break ground on these important elements, the Breakneck train station and trailhead will need to temporarily close during construction.
Based on the urgent need to resolve existing parking, safety, and erosion concerns, the .7-mile Breakneck Connector and Bridge trail segment has been prioritized as one of the most critical sections within the Fjord Trail project. It will be the first major segment to be completed.
The Breakneck Connector segment will include:
- improved and expanded parking areas to better accommodate visitation and access for first responders in case of emergency
- an off-road, partially elevated pathway that connects hikers to the Metro-North station platform and keeps hikers arriving by car off the highway
- the Breakneck Bridge, connecting the trail over the Metro-North Railroad tracks at Breakneck Ridge to HHFT’s future Shoreline Trail, which will run south to Little Stony Point and enhance DEP access to their facility
- an information kiosk, restrooms, and a bike tune-up station
- a child-friendly boulder scramble area
- removal of invasive vegetation
- roomy trail banks and overlooks where visitors can pause and take in the dramatic Hudson Highlands views
Above all, the Breakneck Connector and Bridge will create a cohesive space that balances visitor needs with habitat conservation.
IN PROGRESS: PHASE 2 and BEYOND
The remaining trail segments are scheduled to be constructed between 2023 and 2030. They include:
The trail segment connecting the Breakneck Connector to the north that will include a forest net destination offering a family-friendly immersive forest experience, ample off-road parking areas, and access to the HHFT Visitor Center at the Dutchess Manor campus.
Where the trail winds its way back to the riverside through marshland habitat experiences, with connections to Dennings Point, the Klara Sauer Trail, and the Fjord Trail’s northern gateway, Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park at the Beacon waterfront.
An ADA-accessible trail along the Hudson River encompassing the Dockside Park gateway in Cold Spring, enhancements like a natural playscape for children at Little Stony Point Park, and beyond to connect to the Breakneck Connector segment.
Plan rendering: SCAPE Landscape Architecture
Architectural rendering: Gray Organschi Architecture
Photography: Chris Vultaggio
Photography: Meredith Heuer