Explore Hudson Valley - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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The trail up is pretty bland and boring— not too much to see. It was just gravel all the way up. The top of the fire tower was locked when we went up which was a bummer. If there were no hotel ruins to explore I would say it’s not too worth it. The overlook was nice but I’ve seen better views on top of other mountains.

Hiked this trail with my husband and two dogs this weekend. This was the first trail we’ve ever taken them on and the path is really even gravel. I think what makes this trail other than the views is the extremely friendly volunteers at the top.

quite boring, same from top to bottom your walking in a washed out dirt road with gravel & stones I rate it eases but bad on your knees won't be back

great hike. not too hard at all. nothing exciting on the trail, just a gravel trail that goes up. once you get to the top the views are beautiful from both the tower and the rock ledge. nothing too crazy but the views are definitely amazing

Beautiful hike!

A nice hike with a bit of a challenge but totally manageable for my 30 pound pup. I agree with others that this trail is more fun counter clockwise than clockwise. Some nice rock scrambles going that way which were fun to climb up but seemed like they’d be a challenge and unpleasant to go down. After reaching the tower, the trail is downhill and mostly stairs. I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars because it’s a bit crowded at the tower and on the second half, and it’s close to the roadway in parts (even requiring you to cross a road at one point). You should know there is a $10 parking fee. I’ve been to a bunch of Harriman trails, but this was my first time parking by Bear Mountain and it took me by surprise. I’d love to do this again and explore some of the secondary trails.

awesome light hike with a very rewarding view at the fire tower and the overlook just past the fire tower. not to mention the hotel ruins which are very very cool! Bathrooms are at the top as well

Solid up. Go up near the lake it’s a better route up than down if you’re looping

Beautiful hike with breathtaking view points. It was a beautiful day and therefore the trail was very crowded; it was almost a social gathering. One can do the full 8 miles trail, but we loop out after circa 5 miles. After the first 2 segments, most hikers loop out and the trail is quite empty.

Think it's better to hike this in reverse from what is shown here - go up Major Welch and down the AT. I avoided doing this hike for a long time because it's not as fun to be on a peak that people can simply drive to. I shouldn't have waited so long. There are some great views going up Welch (back down to the Hudson and over to Popolopen Torne) as well as some mildly steep rock scrambling. The views from the top of Bear Mountain are pretty great looking south toward Dunderberg, the Timp and beyond. If you climb to the top of the Perkins Tower you can see out in all directions. I do wish people would be more considerate with litter. There were places on the AT that were strewn with garbage, and there was litter in several places at the peak, even though there were garbage cans nearby. Why? They are rerouting the AT from the top of Bear down through a new area that won't require you to walk along the road as much. The stretch of the AT is one of the nicer maintained trails I've seen - nice and wide with plenty of easy stone steps. That didn't keep some jackasses from trying to bushwhack downhill to avoid switchbacks. My only gripe with this hike: human beings.

Wow, moderate climbs with great views only an hour from NYC. We hiked clockwise on the loop...this is a great way to go, lots of great views off the Hudson River on the way to the high point of the trail. Sneakers or trail runners are suffice for this hike as they provide ample grip on the rocks. Well maintained trail with easy to follow blazes. Added bonus is you get a little time on the AT for my fellow hiking junkies. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy by the lake after your hike.

Not as difficult as other reviews made it out to be. Lots of Rock climbing that is diverse enough for you to choose easier vs harder. Great views worth the climb

11 days ago

A nice and enjoyable walk with a beautiful view.

Views. All the views. It starts with a scramble — if you’re used to Mt. Tammany, this will be an easier than the difficulty forecasting a “hard” trail. After the ascent, it’s more of a ridge walk out with lots of good views. I made the poor decision to take the bypass down and walk Beacon Hill as a separate trail because rain was creeping in — do not do this if you’re tempted (Beacon Hill’s trail is to the powerhouse ruins and initial views is boring and more like a steep gravel fire road than an interesting venture). Just keep walking the trail and you’ll have a much better path. If it rains, you get wet. Safe travels.

My favorite hike. Uphill 99% of the way. Great ruins to explore, the view from the scenic overlook is amazing. The fire tower is not to be missed .
a lot of the trail is washed out from all of the rain this year, but still ok to hike.
Dog friendly. Lots of dogs on the trail.

Meilleur hike que j’ai fais jusqu’à présent ! La vue était incroyable. 4h allez/retour avec les pauses et le dîner au sommet. Je le recommande

Great trail. Beautiful views. Very demanding going up...fallow red circle to the top.

Major Welch to Appalachian trail was great. Some steep inclines on the way up with beautiful views both ascending and descending. Tough in some spots but all in all a moderate trail. Bring a water bottle or 2! If you bring your drone like I did be prepared to be yelled at by the park ranger at the top by the memorial. Mid trail they won’t bother you.

We hiked up Major Welch (you have to walk along the lake for a bit until you see the sign on your left for MW- the trail sign is a white square with a red circle inside) & took the Appalachian trail (marked white) back down. I would say the trail is moderate! Start early to avoid the crowds. MW had a lot of rock scrambling and wasn’t an easy hike, the AT on the way down was basically taking stairs down. Took us about 3 hours to do the loop with 5 breaks!

hiking
17 days ago

Uphill hike, across from amazing Buddhist temple, cool ruins to explore near the top, and AMAZING view at the top and from the fire tower.

nature trips
17 days ago

Beautiful views

the view at the top makes this a rewarding hike!! make sure you bring plenty of water cause 2 per person wasnt enough. lots of sweating, especially during the rock scramble.

my first real hike, was more than I expected but was a great CHALLENGE !! coming from Louisiana it was a great experience and had a great time

A great trail that’s challenging on the north eastern end. If you’re bringing your dog, you may need to assist them along the path. Once you head down the path towards the AT it gets much easier. The trail becomes more professionally manicured for hiking. Would definitely hike it again.

Hiked to Firetower yesterday. It was very cloudy so couldn’t see anything. I want to come here again during the fall season.

Simple hike. Lots of mushrooms - white, brown and orange and plenty of shade en route.

Bear sighting at the trailhead entrance. 09/1/2018 3 pm. It was unexpected and the bear was 30-40 m away from us. Spotted us and ran away. Very fit and lean bear. I wish I had my phone out to take a picture before he disappeared.

walking
18 days ago

good stroll to take, particularly if out and about with family of all ages. not a hike by any means... well travelled. take a seat on one of the many log benches.

amazing scramble in the beginning and beautiful views at the top! plan on using 4 points of contact during the scramble in the beginning. Loved this and will definitely do it again!

This was a moderately easy trail. While it is all up hill you walk the access road all the way. Bonus is the hotel ruins. The view from the tower and the overlook are amazing. A great hike!

really challenging hike. we did only wittenberg because we hike with a dog and felt that it is to much for all of us. there was some spots that we have to help him going down. It took us about 5,5 hours. very nice views from Wittneberg but other than that nothing crazy about this hike.

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