Getting Outside, Outside of Yale

breakneck ridge

Sometimes, a Yalie feels the urge to climb something grander than Science Hill or their pile of p-sets. Luckily, the chances to do so are plenty! 

hudson river
The Hudson River

caroline and julia
Making our ascent

Over fall break (a clutch break in October) a couple of friends and I hiked Breakneck Ridge, a mountain along the Hudson River that is about a two hour drive away from Yale. 

under branches
A forest dwelling!

Breakneck Ridge is a pretty steep, 3.5 mile hike with a lot of boulder scrambling and rewarding views. It straddles the New York towns of Beacon and Cold Spring. 

While winter in New England is undeniably brutal, fall gifts us with lovely foliage and great hiking. There are many opportunities to take advantage of the nearby nature on the weekends and during the nicely timed fall and Thanksgiving breaks. Clubs such as Yale Outdoors offer fun weekend hikes open to all Yalies as easy ways to get outside and smell something other than the stale library air. The trips vary from weekend day hikes to overnight trips, and Yale Outdoors also offers training workshops to teach you how to tie knots, cook on a camp stove, and perform first-aid. 

FOOT group
FOOTies taking a break

First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT) also leads hikes for incoming first-years before orientation and is the most popular pre-orientation program. My FOOT trip hiked the Appalachian Trail in New York and Connecticut for four days. Doing FOOT was one of the best decisions I have made at Yale, partly because it was a great way to learn about life at Yale from my upperclassmen leaders, and also because I made some of my closest friends during FOOT. I’d recommend it to both Everest prospects and long-walk-on-the-beach lovers, since the trips vary in difficulty and are truly prime settings to form organic friendships over shared trauma goals.