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 is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length5.7 miElevation gain1,269 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningLakePartially pavedRiverViewsWildlifeHistoric siteFee
Description
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There is a fee of $10 per vehicle. Fees are collected on weekdays between 6/22-9/2. For the rest of the year, fees are only collected on the weekend. Empire Passholders can get in for free. 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).

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Reviews (94)
Photos (3,708)
Activities (75)
Completed (206)
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The Fish
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 18, 2021
Hiking

Great if you like lots of steps!!! Terrible to see so much trash on the trail . Heavily used. Nice views at the Bear Mountain summit. Good hike overall.

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Alex George
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 30, 2021
Hiking

Great trail but many different connecting trails with not enough trail markers. Keep an eye on your map to stay on the right path. Otherwise a lot of fun

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Roy Riley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 24, 2021
Hiking

so like everyone else we went up counterclockwise the Rock scramble was very steep and a little bit slippery because it was raining and then we came down the stairs and I mean a lot of stairs great views great hike the only thing I have to say bad is people throw a lot of trash on the ground there were masks everywhere and bottles lots of bottles take out what you bring in try not to destroy it for others

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Michelle Ishikawa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 10, 2021
HikingGreat!IcyMuddyScrambleSnow

This trail has beautiful views! Went counter clockwise as recommended and very glad to have done so. Going up the rock scramble is strenuous, very steep, and still quite icy at points - believe it would have been really challenging to to go down this way. Personally, I would rate the scramble part of the trail hard, but coming down the stairs was much easier.

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Michaela Schuster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 23, 2021
Hiking

I skipped the beginning and started at Bear Mt Inn / 3020 Seven Lakes Drive which is $10 parking on weekends if you do not have the Empire pass. Recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise to have the rock scrambling portion on the incline and the stairs (yes, it’s stairs) on the decline. Keep your eyes open for the trail markers on the rock scrambling part - they are there :-) Even on a 25F day the stairs up from the Inn have been surprisingly frequented but social distancing was still possible (don’t expect others to take the lead on it t though). Nice views of the Hudson, Bear Mt Bridge and NYC behind the rolling hills and after-hike relaxing in the gift shop and café in the Inn. Thanks Bear Mountain for a nice day!

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Alison Kreideweis
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Hiking

Parking lot was closed. Had to park a mile down the Street off of busy road. Had I known this would take you through the zoo to the Bear Mountain Inn I would’ve just parked there. Many parts of the trail were extremely wet and icy. 

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Travis Camp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 13, 2020
Hiking

Went counter clockwise , some fun steeper rock faces going up that way, the way down was very easy well maintained trail with steps going down a majority of it. Had views of the mountains with the city looming in the background as well as beautiful views of the Hudson. Highly recommend! Took us 2.5 hours keeping a steady pace and resting at the top to take in the views.

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Philip Feingold
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Hiking
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Paige Ponzeka
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Hiking
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Avi Bash
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 20, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful trail with some steep inclines and drops as well as part of the trail was closed off and had to take alternate path at the beginning

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Mark Celijewski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 14, 2020
HikingGreat!
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cristine s
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Hiking
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cristine s
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Hiking
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Yalin Zhu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
Scenic driving

Walkable and nice views from fort Montgomery. Just heavily trafficked in the uphill part, hard to keep social distancing

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Yousef Mohamed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking

It was honestly great. Better than I expected, but man that had some really crazy trails that killed my feet. Was well worth it, recommend. Expect a little longer of time to finish it because you’re gonna be catching you’re breathe a lot.

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Craig Camara
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 21, 2020
Hiking

First half of this route is a pretty moderate fun climb with steps all the way. Leave plenty of time for the second half as it’s much more difficult. Lots of rocks on the way down that get super slippery.

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Shannon Ken
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 11, 2020
HikingRocky

Wayyyyy too many people on a Sunday. Hike itself was great and challenging but I couldn’t walk 1 foot without running into a tourist from the city or child. Also, you can save 2 miles but just parking at Hussain Lake. We docked our hike from the parking lot and it was about 7 miles

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Marc Baill
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Hiking
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Scott Berzansky
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Hiking
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JQ Liu
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Hiking

Too many people on a Saturday afternoon to enjoy. Otherwise would’ve been enjoyable.

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Richard Me
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Hiking
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Daniel Itzhak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
Hiking

Great hike, bear mountain side is all stairs so it’s always more fun for me to to do the stairs on the way down. AllTrails said it would rain, weather channel said it would not. AllTrails was right

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Matthew Sheinberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

Nicely marked trail. This was our first hiking trail not involving anyone from NYC. Our issues with the trail come from our lack of experience and appropriate equipment (or the right footwear). Definitely something to attempt again soon.

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Anthony Reda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking

This is a good trail for exercise and views. Highly recommend this trail.

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Jordan Vogel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingBlowdownGreat!
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