Despite its relatively short length, this is generally considered to be the most strenuous hike in the East Hudson Highlands. It involves steep climbs over rock ledges that can be very slippery when wet. You'll need to use both your hands and your feet in many places along the way. Proper footgear is essential for this hike, which is best done on weekdays, to avoid the crowds on weekends. Do not attempt this hike in wet weather, or if the trail is covered with snow or ice.
The white-blazed Breakneck Ridge Trail starts at the southern end of the parking area just north of the tunnel and heads south, almost immediately reaching a viewpoint over the Hudson River to the left of the trail. Storm King Mountain is visible directly across the river, and Bannerman's Castle on Pollopel Island is to the right. This broad view is the first of many that you'll encounter along the hike.
Follow the white-blazed trail as it steeply climbs the exposed rocky ridge. There are views through the trees of the river as you climb, but it will probably take you about 20 to 30 minutes to reach the first panoramic view - from a rock ledge marked by a flagpole. The views up and down the river from this point are spectacular, and you will want to take a rest from the strenuous climb and enjoy the panoramic views.