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

Beautiful mountains but the monotonous snowmobile trail

Nice weather, minimal mud and some bugs at the top of Bearpen

over grown
2 months ago

Park near the snow-plow turnaround and walk up the road (Rt 3). Just before the Hunter's cabin, the road forks. Watch for a blue marker on the tree just near the right fork. Follow the blue blaze all the way to Vly peak canister. Some parts of the hike are steep and slippery when wet. There are nice rock formations on the way, but no views. Come back to the junction and continue past the Hunters cabin on the road. After the road curves to left, a narrow pathway opens to the right. A sign which says 'Danger' may be seen on a tree. This narrow trail pathway is easy to miss, but once you see it, there are snowmobile markings that will take you up through the woods. It reconnects with the road later and continues up on the road to bearpen peak. There are at least 2 lookout points and you will be treated to excellent views of entire Catskills region spanning east and South. Compared to Vly, Bearpen hike is moderate. Overall the hike is moderate except for occasional steep gradient.

4 months ago

Nice views at the top, solid 6 miles out and back, took us about 3.5 hours total

very accessible and we'll marked trail to Vly, just turn right and follow the blue blazes. parking is easy just not at the snow plow turn around.park on the side of the road. today you needed microspikes or you're going to the hospital.Bearpen would be harder to find if not for the footprints in the snow

private property
5 months ago

First, there is NO LEGAL PARKING November through April. Google results say to avoid the snowplow turnaround and park on the right side of the street which is PRIVATE PROPERTY. There is also a no trespassing sign on the PUBLIC street. There is a shack a mile in at the intersection with a very large and scary “PRIVATE PROPERTY: THIS IS NOT A GUN FREE ZONE.” Would not recommend trying this without contacting the state about what is marked state land, and what will get you shot on sight.

There was a coating of ice on top of the snow which made for slippery conditions. Bring micro spikes or crampons. Once you make it to the hunters cabin(private property), look to the right and follow the blue paint blaze for Vly. There wasn't any views at the top but there were a couple of spots where you could see out through the trees. Once you make it back down, follow the snowmobile trail to the top of Bearpen. There was a pretty big clearing and lookout just past the summit. No canister on Bearpen.

The hike up Vly was pretty well marked with large blue blazes all the way up to the canister. There were some steep sections and some parts where the tread was thick mud, loose rock, or covered in slick leaves. It was a fun scramble and there are some great moss covered boulders, but it wasn't easy. No views up top. Going up Bearpen was pretty uneventful. Mostly an old secondary road but eventually splits off into a snow machine trail that doesnt seem to get a lot of use. Decent amount of blowdown and A LOT of mud. Once off the road, the blazes become less frequent and I would imagine it would be easy to lose the trail in the winter. Two clearings at the top with some good views.

This is a logging road, very steep straight up trail. Do not recommend. But pretty drove to get there.

11 months ago

Great solitary hike! My wife and I did this hike on the Wednesday before Labor Day and we didn’t see a single other person the entire time. So if you like “lightly trafficked” this is your hike! Some things to note: The views on the summit are spread out. You have to go past the summit as indicated on the AllTrails map to get to some ledges with outstanding views. The “moderate” rating of this trail turns hard towards the summit when the snowmobile trail becomes a steep rock slide. Also, the trail splits where there is a danger sign. I stayed on the well established snowmobile trail as the danger sign trail is becoming overgrown. This would be an amazing hike during late fall or early spring as the views would be spectacular.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Easy to follow, beautiful view at top

Friday, July 06, 2018

Great hike. Not wonderfully marked but the view is pretty at the top. Quite a steep climb at points. Enjoyed this hike for the workout as much as the view.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

not a favorite. Nothing to see at the top but a canister and SO MANY BUGS! Link this hike with Bearpen to get a better reward. There is a nice view at the top of Bearpen.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

really nice trail. the views from the top were stunning. I came around 2. and Dident leave the Moutain till around 530. I was the last one on the trail and it was getting dark pretty fast in there. its mostly all forest hike. so if you plan an over night or to stay later for a fire. bring a flashlight or headlamp. also some trees were done blocking the trail in parts. bug spray is a must.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

On this hike I ended up hiking Vly and Bearpen Mountains. This was a chilly hike as the temps were 12 degrees when I started. The trails were pretty much straight forward and the view past Bearpen summit was the best of the whole hike.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Great high peak. Minimum views but worth it. Combined it with Vly bushwhack. Completed both in 3 1/2 hours. Easy 2fer on the peaks challenge.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Underrated experience. The path is a very wide rocky path. Primarily used by snowmobiles in the winter although apparently ATV's illegally use it as well. I went on a Sunday afternoon and didn't see a soul all the way up and back. Fairly easy hike, not very strenuous and rewards you with amazing views of the Catskills and the Schoharie Reservoir. Breathtaking. Lots of different birds and flowers on the trail. The trail was very clean, no litter. Warning: This doesn't look like a trail. Or anything. Easiest way to approach is from Heisinger Rd. It is your first gate on the left, I just parked in front of it. There is no marker of any sort to indicate this path goes to Bearpen and easy to miss, there are still old "no trespassing" signs from before the DEC bought it as well that could easily deter someone if they didn't know they were old The trail is not marked but you'd have to be missing some brain cells to get off the path as it is huge and clear. All in all it is seriously a shame that this trail is not used much. It has seriously phenomenal views and this mountain has a ton of history. There are some cool old historical relics at the top from when this mountain was used for skiing. Definitely worth the trip. Took me two hours up and back, took probably one or two breaks going up for about five minutes to catch my breath.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bearpen Mountain is one of the required mountains for the Catskills 3500 Foot Club. It is an easy limb and can be hiked from bottom to top using a road (more suitable for snowmobiles and four-wheelers than actual vehicles). There is a hunter's shack (Tar Paper) at about the one mile mark, the trail also splits at this point, going off to the right leads to another mountain but this is not a marked trail. Following the main road/trail leads to the top of Bearpen. You can cut off at least half a mile from the road by taking an unmarked foot trail. This foot trail is actually shown on the NY/NJ Trail Conference map and is not only a shorter route but also a significantly easier one. We only had one good view, it was a partial view and it was at the peak. I would not recommend doing this hike in the summer. The views would be much better when the leaves are off the trees. Also, we encountered four-wheelers at three different points on the trail. A total of 9 different vehicles. In the winter, this trail is used by snowmobiles so you should also take that into consideration.

28 days ago

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