Though all were in agreement that some serious safety and aesthetic improvements were needed, no one was particularly happy when it was announced last year that those improvements would necessitate the partial or complete closure of the popular Breakneck Ridge hiking trail. Well, prime hiking season is just about upon us one year later and … nothing.
Thanks to an update on the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail website, we now know that construction plans for the area nestled between Beacon and Cold Spring are being finalized but the trail will remain open for the remainder of the year, much to the glee of area climbers. Construction will now officially begin in early 2019.
Planned improvements include a new twelve-foot wide bike and pedestrian trail between the trailhead and the Metro-North pedestrian walkway. This, combined with parallel parking and designated no-parking areas along Route 9D will help alleviate some of the area’s more dangerous roadside conditions. Reserved parking for emergency and rescue workers will also ensure speedy response time when needed.
Other additions will include a new welcome center — the Scandinavian design favored by local votes, with a few stone touches brought in from the also-popular “rustic” design — and native landscaping to replace invasive plant life. Future hikers can look forward to lush greenery and two-to-three rain gardens on their walks.
Interested parties can check online for continuing construction updates or just look over the designs for the project, but for the moment it looks like we can all enjoy one of the area’s most breathtaking views for at least one more season!