Clay Pit Road

Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, New York

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9 Reviews
5 out of 5
Clay Pit Road is a hiking trail in New York City, New York. It is within Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve. It is two miles long and begins at 53 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is a mile with a total elevation gain of 127 feet. Near the trailhead there are parking, restrooms, an information, and a parking. Along the trail there is a wood. Near the end of the trail is a viewpoint.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Clay Pit Road is a hiking trail in New York City, New York. It is within Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve. It is two miles long and begins at 53 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is a mile with a total elevation gain of 127 feet. Near the trailhead there are parking, restrooms, an information, and a parking. Along the trail there is a wood. Near the end of the trail is a viewpoint.
Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve
Distance: 2.0
Elevation Gain: 127 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 53 feet
Top Elevation: 130 feet
Parks: Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve
Elevation Min/Max: 45/130 ft
Elevation Start/End: 53/53 ft

Clay Pit Road Professional Review and Guide

"It may be hard to believe, but many of Manhattan’s buildings and sidewalks were once made from the clay drawn from the ground of this pocket-size park. The 19th-century brick plant is long gone, replaced now by a fun series of lilting trails that loop by idyllic swamps and peaceful ponds, which serve as a backdrop for a colorful variety of birds and wildflowers."

Clay Pit Road Reviews

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icon9 Total
4/13/2013
Challenging as described. Really loved the workout and vistas. Serious rock scrambles. I took the 8-mile option rather than the 9, concerned I wouldn't have time. But completed the 8 in 4.5 hours.
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2/10/2011
Tackled the Breakneck Ridge Loop today and enjoyed every minute of it. The weather was brisk to say the least, about 15F with a fair breeze on the exposed ridges but the uphill work kept me plenty warm. I left Mt. Taurus for another day as I had a 8 month old puppy with me and she can't handle 7 hrs of hiking so we followed the yellow blazes to the left (having gone right at the car park)...the blazes are easy to follow in winter but the trail itself is impossible to find as the track is snow covered and wind-scoured smooth. I met a group coming the other direction after a while and it was easy to follow their tracks. I wore strap on crampons and appreciated them as the going was very compacted and icy in places. At times it was heavy going as a foot would break through the ice crust and go to the knee in powder (with pack and all I probably weighed 240lbs so lighter folk will skip over this no problem). The ruins are magnificent, my favorite part of the hike...the snow filled pool a particularly notable sight. The elevation gain is noticeable, especially in the first half hour after leaving the car but is simply a great warm up. The descent on the yellow blaze trail is quite steep in places....the steps that are supposed to be there were obviously covered in snow so it is really a matter a taking whatever route you fancy down. Views are magnificent, the Hudson is almost frozen over this time of year. I'll be back when the dog has a little more stamina and we'll do it all!
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10/3/2010
The ascent of Breakneck Ridge is a wonderful challenge. The trail up is clearly marked in white blazes and the footholds are solid. There are three distinct landings where folks can take a break on the way up. Views this day were perfect. I've not seen any mountain in the area with quite the same spectacular field of view of the Hudson as Breakneck. On this sunny Sunday, there were a lot of visitors. If you're new to Breakneck, the trail starts at the end of the underpass on 9D. There's a small wooden box there with b&w maps and the first white blaze. The trail is strenuous, to say the least, not unlike climbing a steep staircase. If you're not up to that kind of exertion better not to go. In any event, you'll discover this right off as the trail very shortly goes straight up. There are many areas where you'll need to scramble up the rocks using hands and feet. There are a few areas where one could slip but actually cascading off the cliffs would take some serious bad luck. Still, don't let kids play around by the edges. For instance, there's a spot on the trail as you approach the second hump, that goes straight down about 200' and it's only about 2 or 3 feet to the right of the trail. Pay attention! I've done the ascent of Breakneck now about 50 or 100 times. It gets easier all the time and now I usually do a few up & downs before heading home. My favorite longer hike here is to stay on the white trail all the way to its end, about 5 or 6 miles, to the Beacon Fire Tower. The Tower itself is closed but the mountain top it's on (South Beacon Mt) has a tremendous 360 degree view of the area. That, and the fact that this mountain is also a steep climb, makes this hike a good workout.
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7/10/2010
VIdeo review of breakneck ridge bypass can be found at hikingcampingtrails.com/?p=8 . An excellent trail that shows off some of the best views of the Hudson Valley, West Point, Newburg-Beacon Bridge & Bannerman Castle. It's not a long hike (3 or 4 hours) but it's a fun one. The quick accent and step rocky areas provide lots of challenge for experienced backpackers while the alternate routes provide an easy way around for anyone who feels uncomfortable with any area. Well worth an afternoon!
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8/16/2009
Today's high was about 92 - making the already challenging acsent even more interesting. Good hiking boots, galon of bugs spray, and plenty of patience to look for trail markers is a must. Don't forget to pickup free map at the trailhead parking lot. Proved to be a good supplement to the map provided here.
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2/16/2009
Went back to breakneck yesterday for my first hike of this season. Was everything I had remembered from my previous trips. Love it in the early spring because there are no bugs and no snakes. ALmost stepped on a BIG snake two years ago. Don't hike it alone, but definitally hike it.
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1/21/2008
This was the first hike of my season. We started a little late. This trail kicked our butts. It is very challenging and offers a lot of spectacular views. I live in the city and it was really easy to get up there by train.
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11/12/2007
I haven't done that many trails, the only one I could really compare it to is Mt. Lafayette's in NH white mountains. Breakneck is smaller in comparison but just as beautiful and actually more strenuous, the trail markers could be better it seems many people were not sure where they were going the two times that I have been there. But I can't wait to go back and try different paths!
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9/12/2005
This was a really great trail: easy parking at the base, lots of challenging level changes, some great views, and a very pretty stream for our dog to cool off in. However, at about the furthest point out (the northernmost point of the ridge trail), the markings get substantially less clear. We missed an important turn-off and ended up circling Surprise Lake (surprise!). This added a couple of miles to an already long trip. Even so, we highly recommend it. (Just bring a compass, and be ready to double back a time or two.) Also, if you see blue smiley face trail markings, you've gone too far!
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Jun 2018