"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
"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
"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