Bear Mountain Loop Trail

MODERATE 699 reviews
#1 of 21 trails in

Bear Mountain Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bear Mountain, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1187 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

scramble

This steep incline up to Bear Mountain summit features incredible views.

hiking
19 days 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
20 days ago

So many people. But it was good start.

hiking
29 days ago

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!

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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

hiking
2 months ago

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

4 months ago

Fairly steep assent after walk along the lake . At the Tower trail in under construction and poorly marked .
Decent is not difficult- a lot of steps

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

great hike and views, just way too crowded

I did this hike several weeks ago. Was nice and had a few challenging sections, but it was insanely crowded on a Saturday. So many tourists and the back end was all stairs down. We waited in a single file line to get down with all the people. It was a little crazy!

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of rocks! I made it all the way to the top tower of the mountain, alot of people here only reviewed on did half. Total of 8 miles! Lots of bugs on the way down. Would definitely do it again.

5 months ago

Great Hike. We took our children ages 11 and 14. We took the harder route - its was certainly challenging! The easy route is definitely busier and has many more hikers.

5 months ago

Definitely recommend the AT on the way down. Would not want to reverse scramble that Major Welch trail downhill. Major Welch was gorgeous on the way up, though. Wear something grippy on your feet. Sure, Bear Mountain is a bit too populated, but the hike up is exhilarating, and you cannot beat the view at the summit.

hiking
5 months ago

25 degrees. My great hiking partner killed it going up and coming down she led the way. It was a great day.

5 months ago

hard hike up the rocks if you dont take the easy trail. not recommended on rainy days! but absolutely beautiful views!! great hike

5 months ago

Great scenic view, awful amount of people on the weekend. Was relaxing but wasn’t....

5 months ago

Too slick and wet under foot on the “gentle” way down. The way up was good and we were warned to come down the same way as we went up.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Relatively easy and fun hike with some scrambling. Way too crowded though.

hiking
6 months ago

Tons and tons of school kids. Loud. Playing music on their phones quite loudly. Super loud bus loads of tourists at the top.

Markers were poorly displayed along the scramble area. Difficult climb but it was a fun one. Not sure I’ll do this one again though due to the noise.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail! Challenging for someone who is fit but not an avid hiker! Enjoyed the views!! Can’t wait to try another one!

hiking
6 months ago

Didn't like that there was so much people, the view was nice and steep steps to the top.

6 months ago

Pretty easy trail with a decent view for the effort. I really enjoyed this one it made for a nice day trip upstate.

6 months ago

Beautiful views, some nice clambering and scrambling, some of the nicest trailwork I have seen coming down- a little crowded on a fall weekend in September- well marked, vending machines at Summit- oh and did I mention you can drive up to the top- so lots of people up there who didn't work for the views. Great hike overall!

hiking
6 months ago

pretty decent trail with some steep elevation

hiking
6 months ago

This is a decent trail. There are a few parts that may be difficult for some people, but it’s mostly steps. It’s not the most enjoyable at the top because there is a parking lot (lots of people). The view of the Hudson is nice however.

hiking
6 months ago

Just okay in my opinion. Definitely a nice area, and I could see Bear Mountain being very picturesque at peak foliage time (I visited in early December), but there were several issues that prevented me from enjoying this hike fully:

- Unbelievably crowded on weekends. This is not exactly a good place to "get away from it all" with a peaceful wilderness experience. Also, a lot of people did not display common trail etiquette, unlike at other parks in the region.
- Very noisy between the crowds, the noise from cars on adjacent roads, freight rail lines, and even the foghorns from ships in the Hudson River.
- Admission/parking fee is kind of ridiculous, especially considering the plentiful selection of better (and free) hikes in the area (Harriman, Breakneck Ridge, etc.)
- I personally dislike zoos, so the zoo did nothing for me

All in all, I am glad I visited, but would not return. The bridge and buildings on the park grounds are pretty cool, but not enough to draw me back. There is much better hiking at other parks in the Hudson Valley, though I could see Bear Mountain being a good choice for families.

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