Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain, New York 10911

Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This pretty hike from the famous Bear Mountain Inn in the state park along Hessian Lake goes to Perkins Memorial Tower and its 360-degree views and descends on the Appalachian Trail."

More Bear Mountain Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail Mid-Atlantic (Menasha Ridge Press)
Matt Willen
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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." Read more
Best Hikes Near New York City (Falcon Guides)
Ben Keene
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"Tackle a popular hike in New Yorks second largest state park for views of Bear Mountain Bridge, Brooks Lake, and Popolopen Torne. Cover one of the first sections of the Appalachian Trail and see how volunteers have made major improvements to ensure the enjoyment of future generations of walkers and backpackers." Read more
AMC's Best Day Hikes Near New York City (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Daniel Case
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"If the climb doesn’t take your breath away, the views will on this heavily traveled loop with deep roots in hiking history. So many things are named after Bear Mountain—a bridge, a state park, an inn, a traffic circle, and even two roads in Westchester County leading to it—that it’s easy to forget that the mountain itself came first. And when you have climbed it, you’ll understand why it’s named “bear.” The mountain and its trails are not only steep; they are steeped in history—the history of modern hiking as well as that of the United States. In 1777 the battle of Forts Montgomery and Clinton was fought near its base, the only British victory in the Hudson River campaign that could have ended the Revolution. A century and a half later, one of the original stretches of the Appalachian Trail (AT) was blazed up its slopes." Read more
"Hike this meticulously maintained trail to the summit of the Hudson Highlands’ crown jewel. At just 1,283 feet, Bear Mountain is far from the highest in the area—Catskill mountains just to the north tower over it by 2,000 feet or more—but its magnificent views of the surrounding Hudson Highlands and the Catskills in the distance make it a favorite with day hikers, Appalachian Trail thru- hikers, and folks who drive to the top just to enjoy a picnic and watch the sunset. Yes, you can drive your car to the summit, but the trek up this small section of the Appalachian Trail is such a pleasure that you’ll really miss a great hike if you opt to take your car. You can thank the work of the New York–New Jersey Trail Conference in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy." Read more

Bear Mountain Reviews

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Fun trail. The first 1.5 miles was a strenuous (especially when it's hot & humid) trek straight up the mountain over many rocks until you reach the view point.. The trail takes off from the Bear Mountain Inn, so lots of foot track during this first section.

Once you reach the top, though, the view point made it worth it. There were a few viewpoints along the way, but keep going all the way to the top. When we arrived at the top, a thunderstorm came rolling through & blocked most of the views, but the tower provided needed shelter during the downpour.

We continued along the path following the AT. The part that followed the roadway for .3 miles was not pleasant, battling traffic, but once back on the trail, nice views and a very nice trail. This would be a great trail to take a dog on.

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Trail Information

Bear Mountain
Nearby City
1,000 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
3.5 hours
Additional Use
USGS Peekskill; USGS Popolopen Lake
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018