Bear Mountain Loop

Peekskill, New York

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This exciting loop hike follows the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) from Hessian Lake at the bottom of the east face of Bear Mountain to its summit and returns down the huge exfoliation slabs along the Major Welch Trail on the northeast face of the mountain. You’ll have excellent views of the Hudson River, the Hudson Highlands, and Harriman State Park from many places along the route. Begin hiking from parking lot 1 at Bear Mountain State Park, next to Bear Mountain Inn. Head straight to the southeast corner of Hessian Lake and follow the paved path along the south end of the lake. This path is the A.T., though you won’t see any blazes until the path meets the woods at the southwest corner of the lake. Here a carriage road departs to the right, staying at the level of the lake—the end of the loop. Follow the A.T., which remains paved for a short distance farther, as it now ascends the southeast flank of Bear Mountain.
Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail Mid-Atlantic

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail Mid-Atlantic

by Matt Willen (Menasha Ridge Press)

This exciting loop hike follows the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) from Hessian Lake at the bottom of the east face of Bear Mountain to its summit and returns down the huge exfoliation slabs along the Major Welch Trail on the northeast face of the mountain. You’ll have excellent views of the Hudson River, the Hudson Highlands, and Harriman State Park from many places along the route.

Begin hiking from parking lot 1 at Bear Mountain State Park, next to Bear Mountain Inn. Head straight to the southeast corner of Hessian Lake and follow the paved path along the south end of the lake. This path is the A.T., though you won’t see any blazes until the path meets the woods at the southwest corner of the lake. Here a carriage road departs to the right, staying at the level of the lake—the end of the loop. Follow the A.T., which remains paved for a short distance farther, as it now ascends the southeast flank of Bear Mountain.

© 2017 Matt Willen/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Peekskill
Distance: 4.4
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 161 feet
Top Elevation: 1,316 feet
Local Contacts: Bear Mountain State Park, 845-786-2701, nysparks.com/parks/13
Local Maps: Appalachian Trail Conservancy New York–New Jersey, Maps 1 & 2: Connecticut State Line to New York 17A; USGS Peekskill and Popolopen Lake; New York–New Jersey Trail Conference Harriman–Bear Mountain Northern: Trail Map 119
Driving Directions: Directions to Bear Mountain Loop

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Apr 2018