Bull Hill (Mount Taurus)
Region: Hudson Valley
Bull Hill, AKA Mount Taurus, is the easier climb just south of Breakneck Ridge. Located in Cold Spring, Bull Hill is another great and popular hike in the Hudson Highlands area of the Hudson Valley region.
I climbed Bull Hill in January 2018 and fortunately didn't have to use Yaktrax during the climb, as almost all the mountain was without any snow or ice. The trail head for the Washburn trail up Bull Hill, probably the most popular trail head for folks arriving by train, is about a 20 minute walk from the Cold Spring train station. Once you exit the train and walk to the eastern exit, you'll be put out onto Main Street in Cold Spring. Take a left on Fair St., walk a little over a half mile and you'll merge onto Stearn. At this point, the main parking lot for hikers heading up the Washburn or Cornish trail will be in sight.
I took the Washburn, which allows for great lookout views of the town, the Hudson River, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and even at one point (marked nicely for climbers) a silhouette of skyscrapers in Manhattan. Bull Hill has some decently challenging steeps but they are short in length and nothing compared to its neighbor up the road. Once I reached the summit, I took the Washburn down a little ways until I reached the Nelsonville trail, which ended up being a very quiet, pretty and overall relaxing trip down. Nelsonville opens up to a nice, open forest scenery. After a somewhat moderate but at times challenging climb to the top, the Nelsonville trail is quite relaxing. I crossed over to the Undercliff trail towards the bottom and made my way out to upper Main Street in Cold Spring after about a 2.5 hour hike in total.
Overall, Bull Hill is a great hike for challenging yourself, getting a good work out in and taking in a few great views of the Hudson Valley. If you're interested in hiking the Hudson Highlands and want to venture into the Cold Spring area, but are hoping to take a break from the more challenging Breakneck Ridge, I'd highly reccomend Bull Hill.