dogs on leash
Bear Mountain State Park is situated in rugged mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River. The park features a large play field, shaded picnic groves, a dock on the Hudson for mooring small craft, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, a zoo and nature, hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails. An outdoor rink is open to ice skaters from late October through mid-March. The Perkins Memorial Tower atop Bear Mountain affords spectacular views of the park, the Hudson Highlands and Harriman State Park. The Merry-Go-Round at Bear Mountain State Park features hand painted scenes of the park an 42 hand carved seats of native animals including black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, Canada goose, fox, swan, bobcat, rabbit and more. For information about the Merry-Go-Round or to book a party please call (845) 786-2731
this is one of my favorite of the Hudson valley hikes . I usually park in the parking lot on mine road and from there its only about a 30 minute hike to the peak which is very beautiful. there's two trails that form a loop regardless of which one you take up I would suggest bearing left at the fork and taking the steeper of the two trails to the summit then descending down the less steep trail.
Overall it was a good hike - saw six deer (two different groupings, but very up close.) Went on a holiday weekday so it was crowded. I didn't expect the loop to be so man-made, I thought a bit of it maybe, but the extent of it was a bit much and a buzzkill on the nature vibes and felt less like a hike. Plenty of opportunities for views and overlooks which were also a little dampered down by people driving up. Still giving it four stars because I'm simply a hiker who prefers hiking more in the wilderness and that's not the trail's fault. The white trail is well marked, but I only saw a sign for the red trail once and couldn't make my way back to it and did get caught in a loop once and found myself back at the summit again by accident (it was a happy accident - caught the sunset.) Overall, a lovely and short trip away from NYC and a pretty short hike all in all. Nice little spurt.
I was looking forward to a "hard" hike but this was far from it. It was mostly poorly marked flat wide dirt trail, it crosses and parallels roads, and it's very hard to follow in places. The top little loop thing was cool, a small section of actual elevation gain with just the slightest little bit for scrambling to get up/down some rock faces. You get panoramic views up at the top. There's a handmade stone "monument" at the top, between it, the surrounding graffiti, and the plentiful left behind garbage the "leave no trace" thing goes right out the window.
It wouldn't be a bad hike if you wanted something short and fun and skipped damn near all of it, but with Miles of just walking before and after it leaves a lot to be desired. I would not go back.