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The gorge is beautiful but the hike itself is a tourist trap. You don’t feel like you’re escaping in nature but just part of another tourist attraction.

Rock scramble all the way up to the top. It’s by far the hardest but funnest hike closest to NYC. I don’t recommend this hike for dogs unless your comfortable your dog will stay with you and will not need help climbing. There are a lot of sections where you need your hands and legs to climb.

Great trail! I wouldn’t classify it as moderate closer to upper easy than moderate. However it was very beautiful the entire time! We started with the Rim Trail which merged into the Bear TrIl, then loops around the Lake and got back into the Gorge Trail. Took about 1 hour and 35 minutes or so. We had our dogs with us a long the way. There weren’t too many opportunities to let them off leash because of the occasional drops from the river or service roads but they still enjoyed their time.

hiking
2 days ago

Definitely worth coming multiple times

I stared at the Broccy Creek trailhead. It is a nice walk with a few steep rocky sections. Nice overlooks of the Hudson and Bear Mountain.

hiking
2 days ago

short hike to reach the falls.

Richie said it was GREAT! Random guy took pictures of his back too. Great day

Beautiful View. Easy Hike! Make sure to park at Laurel House Road. Be very careful and stay on trails.

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.

rock climbing
8 days ago

Great scramble. Amazing views from the top.

Gorgeous views and great climb down, be prepared or climb back up. Have went previously and water was flowing steadily. Flame is brightly lit. Great photo op. Magical place will go again for sure!

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

Absolutely beautiful. Definitely more touristy then I thought but surprisingly didn’t effect my experience. We took a ton of great pictures

Really loved this hike. Lots of stairs at some points but just challenging enough to make it not feel like “a walk in the park”. Tons of places to stop and put your feet in the water, beautiful waterfalls and the best part was at the end of the hike you end up at a swimming area and we swam up to the waterfall. Water was cold but totally worth it! Definitely bring your bathing suits. Very cool experience.

We clocked 7 miles including the stone road. We were an electic group humans (61,56,49) two dogs (4 and 14) all made it. Total time 3.5 which is a little longer than usual. Really awesome senery and a nice combo of very steep short inclines and descends.

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.

Great hike went with a few friends and my pup everyone loved it! Took a dip at the waterfall! Easy trail

13 days ago

Amazing waterfall and great views! Nice place to cool of in the summertime.

WOW! the steps for buttermilk Falls up are pretty strenuous but definitely worth it. The whole gorge is made up of waterfall after waterfall cascades. I would say moderate/easy. I am four months pregnant and we were able to do the hike. We went a little slower than normal with some stops but it was absolutely do able. I did get stung by a yellow jacket so if you or someone your hiking with is allergic bring an epi pen.

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.

A lovely hike that ended up being a little over 5 miles. Nicely maintained trails. A bit crowded in the beginning but it thins out eventually. The plethora of stairs provided a nice challenge.

hiking
15 days ago

This is my favorite trail in Ithaca. Aside from being dog friendly it’s not too difficult-some stairs here or there. Beautiful views all around. If you come in the summer time you can go in the water. So much fun!

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

Great hike for a family. Not too difficult for our 8 and 6 year olds and beautiful view at the summit. Would highly recommend.

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.

If you do the entire trail (north loop and back on South loop it’s pretty long. We clocked 6.3 miles. It’s hilly at times and can be tough for the elderly. We’re glad we left the grandparents home for this one. (And all our toddlers for that matter).

All in all it’s a great trail. Very scenic, picturesque and quiet. We didn’t see the waterfalls because it was dry but I’m sure they’re amazing when the water is running.

We recommend it. Try it out and if you can’t make the whole trail, there are smaller loops you can hike.

no water flowing on the falls the day I was there, but still breath taking views. definitely going back after a good rainfall to see water going down the falls. flame was burning real good

Very nice hike! It is like a scene from Lord of the Rings.

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