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

Southern half of trail is in excellent condition and not difficult (though of course involves assent/descent) but the northern half is very much a work in progress (2018)...easy to lose trail in which case (though eventually one does reach summit) one is occasionally in for a tough climb.

Definitely should get to the parking lot at the Inn early if you get there early enough there’s plenty of parking, heads up unless you don’t mind hiking back up the mountain to the tower after you finish this loop you should definitely park your car at the Parking lot next to the Inn. Besides that great trail !

hiking
10 days ago

Really nice views from the top. The lake is beautiful. Worth going. Been there twice :) although it gets a little crowded by the lake ( there's faster and eSier way to get to the lake ). One of the best hikes in Harriman

The trail itself is great. I think i would really like it on another day.
The problem we had was it was beyond humid and it was the morning after July 4th celebrations and people had left garbage everywhere! Such sadness - pick up after yourselves, people

But the trail itself is nice. It has some steep sections but some nice view points!

This hike was very good. The trail to the lake was moderate but I would call the second half of the trail hard because of the rock scrambling and steeper elevation changes. If you have someone that doesn't hike a lot, just go to the lake and follow the same trail back.

Fun hiking trail!

hiking
14 days ago

We really enjoyed the hike. The road was a bit uneven but not bad at all. The markings were good. There were couple of fallen trees but it didn't interfere us from following the marks. Started out on green > yellow > white with red triangle. Overall, the hike was great! The lake was beautiful too.

Con: bring bugs repellent. Several spots have mosquitos and bugs flying around.

first time hiking ever. trail was very challenging for a first timer but even my 6 year old could handle it. definitely sparked an interest in hiking for the both of us

Perfect for a challenging, short and moderately difficult hike; some scrambling, blooming mountain laurels and vistas.

Great trail. Lots of rock scrambling. Definitely feel accomplished after.

hiking
22 days ago

Pro: Well marked trail, good work out in a hot and humid day.
Cons: too much people and some people put loud music on the trail.

very crowded on a Saturday. I had to pay ten dollars for parking. the trail is not very well marked and stops at the road several times with long stretch down on paved road as well. I went up the red trail down white.

Beautiful. To be clear, you want to follow the green blazes, then walk right when you see the yellow blazes, then walk right when you see the white and red triangle blazes. It’s a wonderfully varied trail.

Wow now this hiking trail has way too many Stairs that is what makes it challenging and when you arrived to the top there a road for car's to pass by I didn't like that it didn't really feel like a hiking trail.

Fun and dynamic hike! We did it in reverse for a little extra challenge.

Along with my two beagles and my friend, I started and parked the car at Perkins Memorial tower. This was probably not the smartest thing because in the end we had to climb back up to get back to where we parked the car. I would recommend starting at the Inn by Hessian Lake. Please be on the lookout for black snake as we saw one on the the climb back and was warned about it by another hiker on the way down toward the lake. Absolutely gorgeous view and a great satisfying hike.

we really enjoyed this hike - the vista views off of the blue trail were lovely and the lake was nice, too. i'd say it's an easy to moderate hike - mostly easy but with a few rock scrambles, depending on the route you take. even without the views, though, the area is beautiful. overall, i would recommend it. a few things worth noting: the trail markers are pretty terrible. in some places, they're barely visible, and they were frequently difficult to follow. i don't know what we would have done without our map (we bought one at the visitor's center). second - beware of rattlesnakes! we nearly stepped on one where the trail opens up to the lake. thank goodness it rattled at us just in time. be mindful & pay attention!

Worth the work!!! Not a loop as stated though, you can take one of 3 ways up/ down the mountain. We took the red trail up and partially down and then took the white (Appalachian) trail down after the tower. It started out moderate then got relatively difficult relatively quick, several very steep sections leading to BEAUTIFUL views, breathtaking honestly, NYC in the distance was unreal. The hike down on the red/white to white trail was moderate and a breeze after the red trail up. Well worth it!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice little hike. The trail was a crowded and I didn't love hiking on the paved roads (although it does look like they might have been doing trail maintenance so this might be temporary). I'm never thrilled when you hike to a summit that people can drive to but I guess you can't really blame the mountain for that ;). The hike down the Major Welch section took a little longer than the hike up because of managing the rocks. I have been told by multiple NYers that this is a great hike....its not the hike they hyped it up to be. Completed this in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Had lots of fun! Great views of the Hudson and surrounding hills. Multiple stop offs with views along the way.

This hike was beautiful and fun. The red in white trail up to the lake was pretty easy, wide, well-maintained. Red/white to yellow to blue white on the way back was more challenging, more fun and more rewarding. We cut across the brook early (using orange to connect back to red/white) because we noticed a sign warning that the other bridges were out and blue/white would not connect us to the parking lot, so beware of that...

Great day hike. I’d definitely recommend doing the trail counter-clockwise and not doing it at all if it’s rainy since the boulder scramble will be slippery.

“Long Trail” along the lake has green blazes, connecting to yellow blazes of Dunning (wide trail), and then white with red triangles is the Arden-Surebridge. Trail is nice mix of scenery, valleys, small hills, view of lakes, crossing many small stream. Everyone and their mother stops at the parking lot on evening and weekends, especially for the sunset across the lake, and therefore the green trail can get pretty busy. Sometimes trash is left there too, so please help keep it clean! But just visited and it was pristine!

This is one of my favorite trail in Harriman state park little mix of everything great views going up to the top with a nice lake view

Great trail. Many pine trees, springs, very close to the city and isolated at the same time.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Great overlooks - be mindful with your dogs though because it crosses over the highway.

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