Bear Mountain

Unspecified • 6 mi • 1560 ft

From the parking area, pale-blue-blazed Undermountain Trail immediately passes a kiosk on the right with a posted map; trail maps are sometimes available here. The trail heads west and begins a gentle climb into a forest of red and white oaks, ash, and hickory, all shading clumps of witch hazel, mountain laurel, wild azalea, and striped maple. Evergreen Christmas fern shares the forest floor with mats of partridgeberry, sprigs of wintergreen, and isolated specimens of wild sarsaparilla and rose twisted stalk, a plant that favors the cool climates of mountain slopes from southern Canada south along the spine of the Appalachians. The foot-tall herbaceous stems grow in a pronounced zigzag pattern, with each zig and zag accented by a solitary deep-green leaf. From late spring through early summer, small deep-pink, bell-shaped pendant flowers appear along the stems.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Mount Frissell
Length: 6 total miles
Elevation Gain: 1,560 feet
Trail Type: Unspecified
Skill Level: Strenuous
Duration: 3.5–4.5 hours
Other Uses: Dogs OK
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6/30/2011

What a lovely hike! We did the loop clockwise as the guide suggested, so it was a smooth, easy hike to the top with a small challenging section on the way down. This is definitely not a "difficult" trail. I can see why it's so popular, you get some nice views up top and there are many pleasant streams, flowers, and stands of trees along the way. Even so, on a Thursday morning in June, we only saw a few other people. Would definitely recommend this for beginners, people who feel like they are "out of shape" but want to get into hiking, or anyone looking for a pleasant day out on the trail.

4/25/2011

Had a soggy hike, but the trail was easy to follow and not very challenging. A twelve-year old dog completed the hike along with a year-old puppy and one out-of-shape adult. We decided to do this loop in reverse, headed south on the AT and stayed at the Riga Shelter. We hiked back to the parking area in time for Easter brunch the next morning.

11/26/2010

I had a nice time hiking this trail, would recommend going counter clockwise on the loop as I think climbing up the other side would be more interesting then walking up the sloped side. I have a video of my Day hike of Bear Mountain CT as well as a trail map, gps waypoints, photos or general trail info, check it out if your interested.

7/9/2010

This was actually the final leg of a 3 mountain peakbagging hike. It was very hot, but we made good time and got an early start. We were back from the Frissell hike and were thinking that it might get too hot to attempt Bear. I'm glad we decided to press on, because the view from the top on a clear day was awesome! We approached from the Riga trail from the north, on Mount Washington Road. The trail started in trees, then gradually ascended. We were getting pretty tired for sure- it started to feel like the Marcy hike, except it was 20 degrees hotter! I appreciated the dry heat though. No mud at all. Snapped some pics at the summit. Will post shortly.

5/1/2010

Excellent hike. Very rigorous and beautiful. Bugs pretty heavy at bottom in early spring...I shudder to think what late summer might be like. I went up the North side as suggested by one guide book and got my fill of mountain climbing for the 1/4 mile or so before the top. It DID make the view all that more spectacular and I felt like it was well earned. It also made the climb down the South seem like a walk in a beautiful pine scented park!

9/15/2009

My friend and I made a day of this, we stayed on the main trail and the views were really wonderful. You drive through really pretty, quaint towns to get there as well and there a few really nice, small eateries with good home-cooked meals for post-hiking

7/2/2009

Would have loved it if this spring wasn't so rainy. Didn't get much on the trails but I do look forward to going back. Had trouble finding someone to register with.

8/11/2008

Not much of a challenge, and not that great of a summit view.

6/15/2008

I thought the hike was very challenging and the view at the top was the best reward- absolutely beautiful. Well worth it.

10/30/2006

Very nice hike. One challenging section. Well marked and clean. Light snow Flurries all the way up on October 29, 2006. Well worth the trip. My nine year old boy thought it was great. At about 6.5 miles it was just enough to keep him enthusiastic for the four hour trek.

7/1/2006

This hike is an excellent hike in the woods of CT. We decided to hit Bear Mountain after hiking to the summit of Mount Frissell which is located in both MA and CT. Bear Mountain offered some pretty good views. Not too busy on the trail. This trail is only minimally challenging.

3/27/2006

The weather was great the day of the hike which made for some great views at the summit. The trail was in good condition and we ran into a few other hikers during our visit. I am writing a full report on my website so feel free to read it and take a look at some of the pictures we took here: http://www.thost.net/adventures/03272006/

12/28/2005

We arrived December 28, 2005, at about 11:30 AM to begin our hike driving from Middletown CT. There was no snow in Middletown because of the recient rain but about 4 to 6 inches were on the ground at the trail head. Using Yaktraxs for traction on the ice the walk was safe and fun. The climb was long and diffacult as expected but worth it. The view at the sumit was great. The temperature was about 40 on the ground and I had no signal on my cell phone. At the sumit the temperature with the wind chill factor was in the 20s. My cell phone worked fine at the sumit. My dog Rocco even just sat down and was looking around it seemed as though he was enjoying the view. Rocco is a mix Shepard and Rottie. He is the best trail dog I have ever had, he has been hiking with me now for 7 years, he is 10 years old and in good health, I think the hiking keeps him that way. On the way down I broke one of my Yaktraxs so I have one foot with traction and one with out and the snow was packed down into Ice so I learned a good lesson for the next trip alway bring a spair pair of Yaktraxs. We were back at the trail head at 4 PM. I plan on comming back in the spring and maybe spending a few days here. Happy Hiking, Tom

10/9/2004

What a great fall hike! Taking the UM trail up to the paradise land to the AT to the summit, then off the summit going south, taking a left onto the Undermoutnian at Riga, back to the parking lot took 4:15. I was moving at a pretty good clip, going light and fast, but I did take a nice break onthe top. Met up with a bunch of super-nice hikers, dogs, adults and kids, this is one of my new favorite loops. Some steepness going up the North Side of bear moutain. One of the best short hikes I have been on, has a bit of everything.

9/17/2004

It was a great trial with an abundance of wildlife and many friendly hikers also out to enjoy the day with their dogs.The trail starts out flat and ends in a rocky climb to the top.Well worth the work it took to get to the top. Takes about 4.5 hours on a steady pace wear good hiking boots and take a lite lunch to enjoy the view on the top.

10/21/2003

The early steep incline of this trip makes the final destination that much sweeter. Its a great beginner overnight hike with a variety of locations to pitch a tent and stay. The views of Autumn in New England (or anytime of year) are beautiful. Its also a great day hike with friends or a dog.

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