Explore Lakes - 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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lovely hike! went with my brother and two doggies :) definitely keep your dogs leashed, as this trail is busy on weekends & nearly every group we saw had a dog with them. great day hike, we added about 1 mile on the lichen trail for views of island pond!

Excellent hike for fall.

Definitely worth coming multiple times

crossing the bridge and through the baseball field will get you 7 mile

Great park, good trails. Some construction happening on the one road so part of the Red trail is blocked but there are good work arounds.

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.

There are snakes...

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

Pretty and not boring with different terrains

This hike has a lot of variety compared to easy/beginner hikes. I would recommend this as a hike to transition into moderate hikes. The environment isn't as overwhelmingly desolate or scary as national park trails. Not many people passing through, saw maybe 4-5 pairs of people, both only very briefly at the beginning/end of the hike.

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.

on Kakiat Trail

16 days ago

Good short-ish hike with decent views and very well signed. Recommend going counterclockwise on the white trail as there were steep inclines interspersed with flat sections that allowed you to catch your breath. The descent was mostly steep downhill. We had the trail to ourselves for majority of the hike.

nice quiet hike. the lake was so relaxing. but I must say I heard a rattle snake. and on the hike back actually encountered and almost stepped on an adult timer rattle snake. watch out. my kids and dogs were unharmed, u think the snake was in a trace. we were lucky.

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!

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.

hiking
20 days ago

Not sure who did the “loop” bc the map listed is incorrect. The trail ends at St John’s road which is about 1.4miles one way-there are no longer any trail markings and you have to turn back. Ranger said the map is not accurate via the app.

So technically the hike is ~2.8miles but this is NOT a loop. This is there and back hike. Very woody, wear strong bug spray, I did but still got bit all over. Easy markings for the actual trail. Not much to see, just woods.

Perfect trail with nice views.
Have an option to combine or switch between trails.

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.

Easy walk. Not even hiking really. Very pretty.

Great for half-day activity. Better to go up Major Welch and come down via AT. MW has more rocky sections, much easier for climbing, going up. Amazing views!

Pretty hike!

Not that hard. Family and pets friendly. Very nice.

never really hiked before. first time with some friends. had a blast. not super hard but some areas were challenging. great time overall. definitely need solid shoes with good traction if you take the Weltch trail to the Appalachian, to the Blue trail as your loop.

Awesome trail. Can get a bit tight at some points hiking around the lake. Perfect way to spend 3-4 hours. No too busy in the trail. Great swimming spots!!

Once you hit overlook trail after McAvoy pay special attention. Some trail markers are difficult to see at times but the orange ribbons on the trail make up for it. You may think its a temporary blaze but its not. Follow the ground as well and you will be fine. Trail looks like it hasn't been maintained to much or traveled that much as well. Pay attention. Good hike however with decent view points over the lake but the view over I 287 you may not find unless you walk off a cliff. Again, pay attention.

Great hike with great view points

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