Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Bear Mountain State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hiked this 5/19/18 With my wife through the rain. I assume the view from the summit is nice, we couldn't see much. We had a blast hiking this trail, climbing a few big rocks to get up top.

hiking
3 days ago

Nice views of the Hudson. Had done this same hike a few years ago. Would not rate this as hard.

As others have said, difficult to follow. Other than the AT section, blazes are not very well maintained and a couple of junctions are very confusing. Had a map and AllTrails open at all times, and still made a number of wrong turns. Wasn’t a big deal in terms of time, but way less fun with your head buried in a map. If you live in NY area and itching to get out and do a workout, fine. Otherwise, meh.

Once it reopens would recommend breakneck ridge instead. Much more challenging and no navigation drama. Plus post hike in town of cold spring is great.

love this trail

Did this backwards (Major Welch first) today, and it was great but surprisingly tricky and occasionally difficult to find the trail on the way up. Views are fantastic, not a ton of wild life but some great birds soaring.

The top has a good view but I actually thought some of the views on the way up MW were better than the top! And yes, people are parked up but you walked, so feel good and enjoy it as much as they are.

It seems under specified here: the Major Welch section is a serious hike! Yes you're not vertical rock climbing but there is more scrambling than I've done on many other trails and you DO need to be comfortable with heights. I took someone less serious about hiking and they were surprised (as was I!) that I'd taken them on this route! I would not want to do MW downwards or in the wet either - it's fun but it was fun because it's dry.

The overall trail has lots of people even on a Monday and many are not serious hikers, which depending on how you like your trail pals is good, neutral, or bad!

Bring grippy shoes with good ankle support.

Did a hike for 8 miles. Went through Bald,Dunderberg and West mountain.

This hike covers 3 mountains and it was pretty challenging one. We took 5 hours with lots of breaks due to cramps. Please do carry enough water and not end up like us.
The hike is 9 miles with 2000+ feet overall elevation gain.
I would love to give the hike 5 stars mainly due to the varied terrain and the workout quality, but I’m reducing to 4 stars because I feel the hike is a bit under maintained and could be made even better. Also, there are just too many flies and insects which made us all the more irritated. Although not bringing a good insect repellent is completely our fault. We even saw a huge snake.
Also, be sure to download the map as it’s very easy to get lost( the markers are not great) and you won’t get any signal for half the hike.
The parking space is also less so we ended up parking by the road.
But if u have the bases covered to handle or not mind the above shortcomings, I would surely recommend this hike- it truly was an amazing workout.

Love this trail. I’ve been coming here for years with my kids. Lot of great memories.

Was a great hike did the route backwards went up the Major welch trail first ,and down the AT .
Amazing views of the Hudson river and surrounding area

Really nice trail, started with the steps, then thru the very steep descent. Good workout, and the view is amazing!!! My 9 year old got thru with no issues!

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike with an easy climb. Nice view.

nature trips
29 days ago

easy to acces from new york. nice walk a little bit climbing on one site. easy to walk on the other one

Day hike. Nice climb to start, was a clear day, NYC skyline in full view. Easy downhill on well maintained trail steps. Great views of Bear Mountain Bridge and the Hudson Valley.

hiking
30 days ago

Great hike. Good climb.

backpacking
1 month ago

like

hiking
1 month ago

Went yesterday and did the route leading up the steps instead of going along the lake first. Everyone was warning us after the tower that it was a steep descent but fortunately we didn't have any problems (maybe it was the fact we were wearing hiking shoes and everyone else was in nike trainers?). Seemed like we might've had the easier route since everyone looked wiped out coming from the other way. It was a quick and steady incline the way we went but after the tower, there wasn't much of a challenge besides trying to not fall on our butts during the steep descent :) Took us 2 hours with a sandwich break.

hiking
1 month ago

This should be an out and back trail. There is no need for the loop unless you just want to add miles and walk through the woods. Take the blue trail from the 9 up to the Timp viewpoint then just round the corner to see the Bear Mountain bridge. Beyond that, the loop is just a long climb down that you have to climb back up. You have to leave the blue trail, follow an old fire road by the creek and then meet up with 1777 trail and climb back up (with no views), kind of a waste and a real leg burner. I woulda been more than happy with the out and back

9 miles, 2300ft of vert

hiking
1 month ago

Take the blue blaze to the 1777 foot path blaze and connect back to the blue blaze to finish up. I'd just do an out and back to the Timp peak instead of the loop. The loop adds no value except additional miles. The loop descends into a valley only to reascend back up to connect to the blue with no additional sites.

So many people. But it was good start.

Went during mid-March. At least a foot of snow still present at the higher elevations. Really enjoyed the first half of the trail up to Perkins Tower. Beautiful views and you can even see the distant New York City skyline. Trail becomes more populous on the AT portion back to Hessian Lake. Not a fan of walking on paved roads or the many stone staircases to finish the loop but I guess no other safer way. I prefer a less groomed trail I guess. Still a wonderful hike!

Great view at the peak, would be 5 stars but it's not much of a hike. Stairs on the trail and a road to the top strip it of being a 5 star.

Decent trail, but it's not a real hike. More of a walking trail. Lots of stairs and very close to the Bear Mountain resort. So if you prefer hiking in more remote areas then feel free to skip this one. That said, the view from the peak is decent. Just don't be a cheater and drive to the peak. Hike to the peak. This is All Trails. Not All Roads.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice quick hike with great sunset views, and good looks at Bear Mountain and its bridge. It also has a nice memorial up at the top to POWs and fallen soldiers. I recommend climbing up the western path, as it is much steeper and harder to descend. The trail is longer and less steep on the east side. It should take 15-25 minutes for someone in decent shape to get the top. A great, easy go to!

hiking
3 months ago

Great views of the bear mountain bridge and surrounding area!

From 9W where the trail head launches the immediate 2 Miles are a strenuous 350 foot ascent. We hiked underneath a storm system covering the lower Catskills and the north side of bear Mountain...but it only rained for the last 2 hours. The trail was very icy and slushy in most parts and I would not advise hiking without micro spikes bc it would be way too dangerous. Please be advised that there are other trails that intersect with this loop and it is VERY EASY to lose your way! This is a difficult hike in every sense of the word when conditions are this icy and wet. We handled it gracefully, however you must bring heaps of water and food to complete this journey. The views of the Hudson and the torne are exquisite but I feel they are more pretty bc the trail demanded such effort to survive. Hiking this in February requires a careful calculus of time needed to complete this loop, and with our gear and current trail/weather conditions we were lucky to finish before darkness.

I would probably not hike here in warmer months bc of growth and the other trails that intersect as it would make it too tight in the growth and trafficked. However, it is without question a beautiful part of rockland county and the hike offers tremendous terrain, elevation gain and careful decision making.

Have fun!

Cool views but you can drive to the top so it was pretty crowded.

Everything, including the leaves on the ground, were covered by a thin sheet of slippery ice. This slowed me down a bit, but the whole trail was beautiful. Climbing Bald Mountain with all the ice was difficult but satisfying once I got to the top. The views from the top of the surrounding mountain ranges and the Bear Mountain Bridge were amazing, I cut the hike short due to the ice and wound up returning on Pleasant Valley Rd. I was able to explore the ruins of the abandoned homes and cemeteries of Doodletown to close out the day.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike but very very icy on the Major Welch portion, be prepared if you come in the winter.

The trail was beautiful, the bald mountain section was incredibly difficult on the downswing. ( way too much ice ) I’d give it another week of the January thaw before attempting again. Besides the ice which is obvious for this time of the year, our group had a blast

Beautiful and well maintained trail; The 300 + stone steps at the beginning can be hard on knees for older folks and non hikers. A 15 minutes walk around the lake to warm up before starting the hike will help. The view from the Perkin Tower & history of the Palisades park portrayed in the tower is well worth the efforts.

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