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Hiking on this trail was ok. The elevation changes a bit from the lake to the path leading to black mountain but the climbs werent that bad. I feel like some of the paths were plotted to test your ability to hop on rocks over water and boggy areas. The first 1/3rd of the trail inbound from the parking lot south is nothing but walking on rocks (unless you want to walk in the mud and water in the low lands). I think it helps to have boots with a metal shank through the sole for walking on some of the rock areas in the park so your feet don't get tired from stepping on corners of boulders all day. For this trail would definitely recommend those kind of boots. You definitely need good boots on this loop. Only gripe I have is that the trail markers could be way better. Some trees, not so bad. Yellow bar trail was relatively easy to find. The white bar trail, which you need to follow out past the shelter (no one says that) is much more trickier to spot. there are no markers when you get to Silver Mine road FYI. You have to figure out that's the way you go. Maybe because it was my first time on this trail it was my fault for not knowing. There are no markers for the part when you come down the hill and hit the road. Past the road into the lowlands by the lake had to look for a bit to find the road again. You can see on the map the red line doesn't follow the intended dotted Silvermine road. So don't blame me if you cant find it at first.

Have to pay $10 to park. This trail starts as a Major Welch Trail (red dot on white). It took us an hour to get to the summit of the Bear Mountain, nice work out, fun rock scrambling (can be challenging for those who are out of shape). On the way down we took the Appalachian trail (white blaze) easy and beautiful. Total time 2 1/2 hours. Very enjoyable!

3-4 parking spots are a couple hundred feet from the trailhead on the same side of the road further away from bear mountain bridge. You can skip out on walking to the trailhead as there is a cut through to the maintrail right from the carpark area.
Steep steps in the beginning for the first .5 mile. But great views on top!

awesome views, fishing spots, just a great place to pull up a chair and relax or film like I did

Nice views on various levels. Moderate is an accurate rating, though my 63 yo mother may disagree lol. My 7 year old did awesome. Go up the mountain and down the AP’s rock steps. Can get pretty crowded... start early.

Great hike with gorgeous views in the fall, but I’d suggest waiting a few days after any significant amount of rain. The entire trail becomes a creek with 1-10 inches of water.

Fun loop, did this in icy wet muddy conditions and it was a fun yet challenging ascent. Walk back on the AT was scenic, mostly cut rock steps, but nice overall.

beautiful views from the top, worth the hike. the whole hike, back and forth was about 2.8 miles, and at a comfortable place it should take you less than 2 hours to complete. make sure you have the right shoes, especially when the ground is wet, as I've seen some pretty funny slips and falls from people wearing running sneakers while the ground was covered with snow and mud....so be prepared, and enjoy the views from the top

Great trail! Would love to do it again in warmer weather. We went on a snowy day in November. There is a fun rock scramble during blue. Very wet on the lower levels of the trail. Great day!

walking
23 days ago

Beautiful urban escape. Dog friendly and lovely.

It is what it is. Fairly nice for being Within the city limits

hiking
28 days ago

Quick getaway for NYC resident. We completed the trail in approximately 4.5 hours (with a 30 minute detour off the white trail and a 20 minute meal break at the top of the blue trail) with two fit adults and a 45lb beagle dog. Trail markings at times missing, which, thankful for the free Alltrails app with prior free download of the trails.

Some dos and dont's:
Go counter-clockwise, as recommended by many on this page (white - blue - orange - red - yellow). Yellow trail is along the water and brings you back to the parking lot, but minimal trail markings to find the merger from the red trail. To find the orange from the blue - take the left fork when descending from the highest point of blue. Especially if bringing a dog go counter-clockwise because of the rock scramble on the blue trail. 80 degree angle at points.

Wear waterproof boots is a must - no tennis shoes.

We arrived at 10am and there were only 3 parking spots remaining (in both the visitor center and the dirt lot across the road), however, cars were parked adjacent to the center on the main road by the time we left.

Bear Mountain is beautiful. This was an absolutely awesome day trip. We had a lot of fun and the views at the top were amazing, the weather was also perfect which made it even more beautiful. Our dog had such a good time too, love seeing him so happy out in the wilderness.

Nice views, but insanely crowded. There are nicer hikes in the area in places like Storm King State Park.

Pretty nice trail, I would rate it easy except for that steep part on the blue dot which is moderate difficulty, would recommend doing it counter clock wise, otherwise it would be more scetchy going down on blue dot. A bit too crowded.

hiking
30 days ago

Great trail overall. We did the red, blue, and then white but I would recommend the opposite (white, blue and then red). Since the blue was a STEEP downhill, it made going down for our dogs very difficult. Other than that part, we all had a great time! And also, wear waterproof shoes/boots! Getting your them soaked is almost inevitable.

Really enjoyed this hike. Well marked and offered a variety of easy to moderate hiking. Views are amazing

Great hike with great views! Highly recommend it but be prepared for steep rocky portions. I’d say moderate is correct but would not recommend for beginners or people who do not regularly do hikes/hill runs. Took us almost 5 hours at a comfortable pace without breaks and we accidentally kept going after the end of the trail.

Fun trail! Ruins, a waterfall, trains, beautiful view of West Point, and a rope swing for jumping into the Hudson and swimming in summer. All that on the first loop! Great for kids.

hiking
1 month ago

Did the actual 3.9 bear mtn loop. What....a....climb...i did the loop counter clockwise starting off with the rock/trail climb. It was pretty tough the leaves and ground were still slippery from the rain that had fallen the day/night before and it got very steep at times. As soon as i hit memorial drive from the path i thought it was over then i saw a nice stair trail on the other side of the road leading up towards the tower. Beautiful views and the trail coming down was very pleasant and easy. ( thats if you do the loops counter clockwise but honestly both ways are a killer lol) GREAT hike.

Hi Hikers,

We are wandering if this loop is doable in winter ? We'll be in NYC next January and would like to have a break in the nature.

Do you think is possible ? Did someone already experiment this ?

Thank you so much for your advice !

Morgane

Awesome hike. Great way to push yourself and have an amazing end result to a spectacular view

hiking
1 month ago

Great Time with the girls hiking at Bear Mountain the pass Sunday. This hike is challenging, pretty steep in the beginning super intense incline about 30 mins worth all the rocks. Stuffed from severe cramps it’s all worth to see the Beautiful View on the top. ⛰ We did counter clockwise. Easier to incline and take the stairs back down. I would say this Trail is little harder than Modern.

nature trips
1 month ago

Was surprised to see how close to nature one can be right here in the Bronx. Luckily in my trails I saw a few people and even though it felt quite for most of the trail, I had the fortune of seeing a family of deers! It was such a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing trails I’ve done. Truly recommend it. There were some parts that was a bit scary, like walking under two tunnels to get to the other side, but other than that, it was a great nature experience.

Thank you below to La Gattons. We navigated around the flooded section to the left like you mentioned and it helped immensely! When you get to that flooded part, go left of that area and through the woods and up some slight hills. You'll start seeing some pink and blue ribbons, follow those until you start seeing the red and white markers and you can follow those all the way back to the parking lot. We did the white markers all the way until they merged with the red and white. If you do white to red and white the whole way it's a big loop and that will get you back to the elk parking lot trailhead. All in all a great hike, awesome lake, beautiful scenery throughout. My gf and I thought it was mostly pretty easy to moderate, but we do hike a lot. Not too challenging.

Overall one of the top hikes I’ve been on. It took us about 4.5hrs (but we stayed at the top for about 45 min). We originally read that we should do white - blue - orange - red .. but after speaking to other hikers along the way we were advised to do white - blue - red .. we did this but be very careful because compared to other hikes I’ve been on the trail was not well marked and at times it was difficult to find the next marker which made it a bit confusing. I would recommend wearing boots as it was very wet and at times muddy.

Easy hike but verrrryyy muddy. Had to scoot across a fallen tree at one point to get across the water. Be prepared to have some wet feet if you don’t have waterproof boots. Enjoy lunch at the lake and be sure to look for the city skyline at various lookouts on the trail. We did see a small black snake right on the trail which was more scared us of but just something to be aware of.

Wonderful walk in the woods.

We went clockwise on the loop and enjoyed the first half of the loop. The return part of the trail was really wet making it difficult and not as much fun.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike. Shaded. It had rained heavily the night before, and the trail was often muddy; long portions of the trail had water flowing down the trail. Very crowded on an unseasonably warm November day--more than 300 cars were parked at the trailhead at 1pm. Took us 3.5 hours (two fit adults carrying a baby in a baby backpack). Some people were struggling with the rock scramble, but we thought it was fairly straightforward.

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