Bear Mountain Loop via Twin Forts

MODERATE 22 reviews
#18 of 23 trails in

Bear Mountain Loop via Twin Forts is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Fort Montgomery, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,269 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

lake

partially paved

river

views

wildlife

historic site

This trail unites with the well known Bear Mountain Loop via a lesser known route at the base of the Hudson River. This section of the Twin Forts trail begins at the Fort Montgomery parking lot (free) and crosses over the new, beautiful Popolopen foot bridge (blue marker). The trail proceeds under the Bear Mountain bridge, through the grounds of the nature center, to the main visitors center, and then to the massive Appalachian Trail staircase (white). This staircase ascends to the top of Bear Mountain and to Perkins Memorial viewing tower. Hikers then join the rugged and steep Major Welsh trail on the descent (red dot). At the trail's end, hikers follow the paved path around Hessian Lake back to the blue trail. Highlights include grand views of the Hudson River, neighboring mountains, historical points of interest, and a view of the NY City skyline on high visibility days (see photos). Of interest, some "loop hikers" will choose to rock scramble up Major Welsh, and then walk down the staircase (reverse loop).

hiking
muddy
scramble
1 day ago

Great trail, though agree with others that it’s moderate/hard. Definitely take the loop counter clockwise, much easier to scramble up than down. Additionally, if hiking with a dog you cannot go through the zoo/nature center. Instead take the bypass that takes you around the zoo. You will see a sign right before you go under the Bear Mt. Bridge, it reads “to Bear Mountain State Park”. This is a slight deviation from the trail marked on All Trails.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
5 months ago

Went on a Saturday morning. Started around 9 am. Trail not crowded on the way up. Took loop counterclockwise which is the better way way up. For a moderate hike. Some scrambles and great view at top. The way down was easier many rock steps. If you want a good hike definitely go counterclockwise. Overall enjoyable hike

hiking
7 months ago

I didn’t get to do the bear mountain loop because I ran out of time - I went up and down on the AT. It was nice, lots of traffic but it was a Sunday and there were still times I was alone on trail. It is hard to connect from twin forts to the bear mountain trails. When coming, just move to the paved path right next to the lake and follow it around with the lake to your right until you start seeing the trails leading up. Veer to the right for the scramble, veer to the left for the stairs. I hope to go back and try the scramble. Also beware the marked trail in the app. It goes thru the zoo and museum or something which is cool, but it is only open during certain hours. You need to take the bypass trail which is hard to figure out where it connects. It is blue blazes. But coming from bear mountain the blue blazes stop at the bridge. Really you need to cross the street by the crosswalk and then make a right - and then right before the bridge duck to the left and there is a small trail going down. My hike ended up being over 6.5 miles because of all the ambiguity in the app. Hard to follow.

hiking
7 months ago

More downed trees than usual in July, but a great path. See my trail description above.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

My husband and I did this on a Sunday which had a threat of rain. Moderate crowds when we first arrived at 10:30 am. Later it was much more crowded. I would definitely do it again. It is beautiful. We went counter-clockwise around the loop which I would recommend. It is hard going up, but would be harder going down. Definitely worth the effort. Somewhat muddy in spots, some pretty falls and the views from the top is very nice as well.

hiking
10 months ago

Highly recommended (see my description above). The rock scrambling up Major Welsh (reverse loop) is excellent!! This route also adds on distance and elevation gain to the regular loop and is less crowded at the start/end.

hiking
3 months ago

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

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4 months ago

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6 months ago

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6 months ago

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7 months ago

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7 months ago

hiking
10 months ago