Explore Sterling Harriman Bear Plans - 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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Hiked trail in fair weather. easy hike. Planning to hike again on this Friday the 11 for my birthday. Starting to train for Mt Washington hike this summer. Any tips?

Nice views and not so hard trail

By far the most direct route to the summit of Bull Hill. Fun and challenging climb early on, about 1100 ft of elevation gain from the parking lot to the Washburn -Undercliff (White &Yellow) Trail junction. Terrific views of the Hudson and town below facing South early on (from 0.5-0.75 miles at a steep 30-46% grade) and then the woods canopy the trail until you reach the summit of Bull Hill. You can see NYC on a clear day from the Summit. The route is a more gradual descent from the Summit all the way down. If you have nothing left in the tank after Notch Trail, you can take an alternate route out at mile 3.4 at Brook Junction (Red) trail and connect to Cornish [Ruins] Trail to take that all the way back to the Visitors Center lot.

Rocky course but worth it. The views at the lookout are unbeatable. Very high traffic and dog friendly.

hiking
18 days ago

Great moderate trail, beautiful in the fall. Very busy, lots of tourists. Rain from the previous day made the trail more challenging as we had to climb off-trail. Feet got wet. Plan accordingly.

We turned this into an "easy" rated hike by just doing the first half mile or so, going only as far as Fitzgerald Falls and then returning. We parked on the shoulder of Lakes Road at the trailhead and it was an easy, beautiful walk through the snow to the falls.

Very good hike overall and especially for dogs! The trails were very well maintained for mid December, a bit confusing at the start as the first two markers were colored blue but once you get pass those it was very well marked! Great views throughout the hike and really cool once you get to the top! Highly recommend to hikers of all levels and experience

hiking
1 month ago

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!

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

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.

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.

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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.

Lots of rain earlier in the week so the falls were pumping. Perfect day, great marking even with all the leaf’s easy to follow trail.

Did the trail counterclockwise- up the rocks and down the stairs. Not very long but challenging. The elevation changes sharply - pretty steep most of the way (check the topography map). Beautiful view at top. Started getting crowded on the way down. Definitely not a remote hiking spot especially on weekends in the summer. Come early if you want to avoid crowds. I suggest hiking sticks, especially on way down.

This hike is challenging but doable. First, when going up you should go counter clockwise. We did and watching people slide down the rocks on their behinds just looked painful. Plus the hike is more rewarding going up on that side. Second, make sure you wear good gripping hiking boots. The trail is wet and there are some serious rocks you need to grip to. Third, stretch and make sure your ankles are in good shape. Lots of places to twist your ankle.
I’m not sure what this map was showing but you take the trail up to the tower then you go down on the appalachian trail (all steps btw) and it’s heavily trafficked. We parked next to the bear mountain inn that way we could use the bathroom before heading out.
Downsides: People at the top near the tower can be obnoxious. Loud music, people sitting on the trail, lots of motorcycles revving their engines, there was a guy flying a drone at eye level at the vista. You can hear cars, chainsaws, motorcycles and people on most of this trail. It’s also slammed with people on the weekends. So go early and during the week.

Quick Trail, I always go up to see the view and back down. There are other trails within that I ended up roaming around in with my brother and we ended up on the road

Fun day on the trails. Some really nice foliage. Did the full loop for the first time. Found the short loop a little more challenging though! Look forward to hiking Breakneck Ridge.

Amazing view from top

Love it a bit scary for my first experience but definitely will do it again.

2 months ago

Good hike and lots of fun rock scrambles but only call out is that a portion of the trail was under construction so you have to walk along a road for a bit. Also there are a couple roads mid-trail so if you have a dog, be careful they don’t run out onto a busy road. The trail got very crowded after 11am so if you want to avoid crowds, I recommend starting early.

Lots of stairs and people, up hill can be a loooooong journey. One way up and down. Great views and it was quite pretty, not for beginners—lots of great picnic spots! Beautiful vistas of the lower of the lower Hudson valley.

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