This short run should not be taken lightly, but if you enjoy rock scrambles, the view from Brace Mountain Summit
is absolutely worth the sweat and fear. It's a quick 0.8-mile ascent up Quarry Hill Trail
and then a lovely run a little over a mile to the summit via the South Taconic Trail
From the trailhead the trail quickly reaches a steep grade that wastes no time heading up the mountain. Signposts flag the most difficult section, a quarter-mile stretch from about 0.50 to 0.75 miles that includes multiple rock scrambles. Two of which should only be tackled if you're prepared to use your hands to grip the rock face to prevent an extended fall that risks serious injury or even death.
Just before the Quarry Hill Trail
ends, there is an excellent viewpoint that hints at what's to come from Brace Mountain Summit
. The trail ends where it intersects with the South Taconic Trail
. Signage here is excellent, bear left (north) onto South Taconic Trail
towards Brace Mountain Summit
This section of trail is picturesque, with both full forest and open scrub brush trail sections. A few partially obstructed viewpoints can be found until the payoff at Brace Mountain Summit
When you've had your fill of the view or more likely are just out of time, retrace your steps back down to the trailhead at Quarry Hill Road.
The base of the mountain is typical hardwoods and the ridge has blueberry and huckleberry bushes.