Appalachian Trail: Bear Mountain - Harriman State Parks - West

Shuttle • 5.7 mi • 0 ft

The less-traveled western section of Bear Mount - Harriman State Park offers an ideal introduction to the history, flora, and fauna of the Hudson Highlands. The land here comes alive with signs of the dynamic 12,000-year relationship between human beings and nature. You will travel through secluded forest once occupied by Native Americans, walk along the shores of pretty Island Pond, slip through the Lemon Squeezer (an unusual rock formation), and explore the ruins of a 19th-century iron mine. Most notably, this hike follows the approximate route of the very first 5.5 miles of Appalachian Trail ever blazed. Natural history features: Green Pond Mountain; Island Pond; Lemon Squeezer; Surebridge Mountain, Fingerboard Mountain Social history features: Clove Furnace; Civilian Conservation Corps spillway; Long Path; Ramapo-Dunderberg trail; Surebridge Mine Road; Greenwood Mine; first miles of AT ever built.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Arden
Length: 5.7 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation: 550 feet
Top Elevation: 1,328 feet
Local Contacts: Appalachian Mountain Club, 617-523-0636
Local Maps: ATC NY & NJ Map 3; NY-NJTC Harriman Map North
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Recent Trail Reviews


Trails are not marked that well. Fairly moderate hike with various elevations.


My first hike since I was a kid. We went up the AT side of Bear Mountain. The views over the Hudson were incredible along the way. The road portions of the hike were dissapointing, but they did provide the best views, so it's tough to complain. Theview from Perkins Tower/the top of Bear Mountain is dissapointing. The views along the way were much much better. We hiked down the Major Welch. It was a much tougher trail. More climbing is involved than what I would thought a moderate trail would have. Its possible it just seemed that way because I was going down though. There were some older people and some out of shape people towards the top that seemed to have navigated it successfully so maybe I'm wrong. All trails were marked very well. No complaints there. Even as a beginner, I had no problem figuring out where i needed to be. 4 miles took 2.5 hours (including climbing 56 steps to top of Perkins). We weren't necessarily hustling, but nor were we taking our time. Look forward to going back and doing the reverse loop.

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