She’s a good girl. 9. Note: The tower is reportedly currently closed as of November 24, 2020. Pretty route that includes rocky footpaths, several streams, interesting glacial erratics like Tripod Rock and Bear Rock, and two overlooks. How long did you take you to climb those steep rocks? Living in the city for 8 years I have never hiked up any mountain and never been to bear mountain either. This is a short hike, just 5 miles round trip, but the elevation gain is huge. The good news is that the Camp Smith Trail hits the Appalachian Trail just beyond Anthony’s Nose, so if you’re looking for more hike, you can just keep going until you hit Maine! The views and little scrambles along the Major Welch Trail are well worth it. Once you’re on the trail system, too, you may find some depressing reminders that some people just aren’t as cool as you and me. If you’re here in July or August, keep on the lookout for blueberries in this stretch. Jim, so sorry you had such an unexpected adventure out there! Straight ahead, you’ll see the junction where several trails converge. You’re still here? Thanks for all the info and pics you’ve posted here! That link leads to Spam. You are absolutely right about the trash, however. Otherwise, you could wander straight here into the wild green yonder. Offline map recommended. As you near the far side of the lake, you’ll find a nice, rocky overlook on your right, where you can hop up and check things out. I know this was the wrong link, but I enjoyed it immensely and it was like I was walking the trail with you. SCENIC VIEWS: At the end of Bear Mountain Trail are spectacular views of the Kenai Mountain Range and the Kenai River Basin. We did run into a policeman who stopped to make sure we were OK (tx). When you reach the cul-de-sac, follow the trail as it veers off to the right. Bear Mountain Trail The hike to the top of the mountain is mostly unshaded, steep and difficult in places. There was a fair amount of litter along the AT on the way down and at the summit as well, even inside Perkins Tower. spa. Definitely do NOT try to do this hike on the Fourth of July, unless you enjoy having the worst time of your life.). This is a phenomenal hike with fun rock-clambering, multiple wonderful views (some more secluded than others), and some of the most insane trailwork I’ve ever seen. We’ll be hopping on the Major Welch Trail to ascend Bear Mountain, and coming back down on the Appalachian Trail. Accessed from the north side of Forest Road 116 on the way to the Santa Barbara Campground. A lovely, snowy day. Enjoy the views of Hessian Lake as you amble along the paved path to its left. If you are looking for some family friendly activities, take advantage of the parks various picnic areas, take a ride on the Merry-go-round, or take a paddleboat out for a spin on Hessian Lake. From the top, you are rewarded with panoramic views of the red rocks of Sedona as well as the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. People along the way but still plenty space to chill and enjoy the views. In particular, at step 7/8: after crossing the seasonal stream, there is a giant fallen tree blocking the trail, and the view of the trail. Hi, Joe! Just a few minutes beyond the rock slabs, you’ll emerge onto your first bona fide viewpoint of the day. We chose the last (and perhaps lamest) option, after reading some more educational signage. What do you think will be the distance from the trailhead at Camp Smith to the bottom of the trail by the bridge ? Thank you! 12. One minute after that sharp left, you’re dumped onto another road. Great views the whole way. Located just an hour from New York City, Bear Mountain State Park provides a much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life. in the Pecos Wilderness. Bonus: the road was closed due to the weather, so there were no cheaters (or cars) up top or anywhere but down by the inn! Turn left, slightly uphill for a moment, to continue on the White Trail. There are plenty of bushes here, but they weren’t quite ready for us in late June. Some families were picnicking in the median! Perhaps you can even find a friendly cheater (obvious by their lack of sweat and synthetic clothing) to take a photo for you. Whether you are looking for a day trip or staying overnight in the Bear Mountain Inn, this park has a variety of activities to offer from hiking, to mountain biking and cross-country ski trails. You’ll find exhibits and information all over the place, along with some 360-degree views at the top. If so, were they slippery? Wilderness Food Storage. It’s just .4 smooth-sailing miles to the tower from here! A bear canister . I did this hike solo (and for the first time!) Between April 1 and October 31, all food items and garbage must be secured inside a hard sided commercially-made carry in/carry out bear-resistant food storage container. Soak it in. Now that you’re on the Appalachian Trail, you can just follow those white blazes all the way back to the start of today’s loop (from Step 2 above). Subscribe: Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. It was quite a hard way up but man was it worth it. After crossing Cheaters’ Highway, you’ll pass another beautiful section of trail that the cheaters will never get to see. As the trail continues ascending, you’ll wander through some mountain laurel thickets that must be amazing at the right time of year. Bear Mountain : SummitPost.org : Climbing, hiking, mountaineering. I just have some questions about the steep open rock slabs between step 10 & 11. Took Memorial Day off work with my husband and decided to hike up using your guide. I counted the steps. When you’re done ogling the money spot, it’s time to hop on the Appalachian Trail for our descent. Advanced features of this website require that you enable JavaScript in your browser. or trees would still have no leaves? We now realized we were much further away and still had a 4 mile walk back to the car. If you are interested in joining up with a group you can check the schedules of local AMC Chapters and perhaps doing a search for group hikes to Bear Mountain in Salisbuy. Humans: So cool sometimes, so not cool sometimes. It was the main path used by boat travelers from NYC and other local ports during the 1920s to 1950s. On our most recent visit, though, it was wide open. If you find this free trail guide useful, please provide payment by picking up at least one piece of litter on your hike. I’d totally underestimated Bear Mountain because of the road to the summit, those “cheaters” totally miss out on the spectacular. 4. 7. Right. This trail begins at the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site. Taking the AT up-and-back would certainly be an option — it’d be the shortest way to do it, but I would recommend taking the loop (as described above) if you can swing it. Super-cool Google Earth flyover of hike route: Related resources: If you’re looking for actual facts and/or useful information, visit these resources: Want to support trails in the Hudson Valley? Vending machines. Thanks so much for all of your hard work, info and insider view. Free parking is available. In another moment, the trail crosses a gravel road, and you’ll stay straight/right to keep following the blazes. Thanks for being awesome! A word about the trailside zoo…I’ve read many a thru hiker complain about its ‘ugliness,’ but remember that all the animals in the zoo were rescued from near death and are for one reason or another unfit to go back to the wild. From here, it’s just 325 more vertical feet and .8 miles to Perkins Tower. Thanks so much for the update, Vanessa! We got a bit of a late start and didn’t get to the top until about 8pm. I removed the “www” in the link, which seems to have fixed it everywhere. Venture around to the other side of the tower. You’ll stroll along this relatively flat paved path for just over .5 miles, enjoying views across the lake to Anthony’s Nose and the top of the Bear Mountain Bridge. parking lot) but have always driven up the Cheater Highway. Thank you, Nathan! today and was very grateful for this post! It took us (2 adults and a pomeranian huskie) just 2.5 hours in case anyone was wondering about the timing — but then we didn’t linger much at the views, only enough to take a couple of selfies of course. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! Hang in there and stay safe, everyone! And just think how much gas you’ll save by not just driving to the top! Bear Mountain is a rocky summit that sits above a pristine beautiful lake named Devils Punchbowl. Over the next 1.25 miles, you’ll climb 1,064 feet. This is the true money spot. Keep following the double-blazed (white and white-with-red-circle) trail. Popular hiking trails within the park include Anthony's Nose, Bald Mountain, and Major Welch Trail. Bear Mountain is a 11.9 mile out and back trail located near Kent, British Columbia, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Maybe a little easier before going back up the major Welch trail If a tree falls in the woods and you ARE there to hear it…it may be the last thing you hear. The route can be done in either direction, but many people choose to go counter-clockwise. Say goodbye to the easy livin’! “Vending machines by the road? Keep heading straight on the now-dually-blazed Major-Welch-and-Appalachian-Trail hybrid. As of this writing in August 2017, this short section of trail is under construction, with the entrance blocked off. I'm an aggressive hiker and pounded this baby out most recently in 2:26 on a cool March morning between rain showers. About six minutes after the road crossing, you’ll arrive at a junction with a blue-blazed trail. One last thing I like to do while cavorting with the cheaters. For campers wanting solitude in the Big Bear area, Yellow Post … 14. The trail connects with the Appalachian Trail, scrambles over some great rock sections, and you've got to see the remains of the stone tower on the summit. (UPDATE September 2017: In the comments below, Andrew counted all the steps and came up with 716. AND don’t forget to scamper down the short trail that goes under the Bear Mt. The homepage for the aptly named Trailside Zoo The trail immediately becomes steep and rocky. I say yes, you will catch a worth-it scene whether or not the leaves are out yet. at the historic Bear Mountain Inn. Whether you are looking for a day trip or staying overnight in the Bear Mountain Inn, this park has a variety of activities to offer from hiking, to mountain biking and cross-country ski trails. I used this as my reference guide and trail map. Kidding! Right? You can also take a walk over the Bear Mountain Bridge for great views of the Hudson Valley and Hudson River below. Book Now. Connecticut’s high point is somewhere on the side of Mount Frissell, whose summit is in Massachusetts.) 21. From this junction, your vertical climbing is pretty much done. Time to go to work. The Fawn trail intersects the Timp Torne trail which you can follow South up the ridge leading to Western Mountain then turn East towards Jones Point overlooking the Hudson River. But even with the sea of humanity that you may find elsewhere at Bear Mountain, and the all-too-frequent litter, the trails and scenery here are truly beautiful, are quite secluded in many spots, and should be on every local hiker’s to-do list. If your Shih Tzu is comfortable hiking these kinds of distances, I can’t imagine she’d have any trouble with this section. This was a really fun hike and had more rock scrambling than I expected on the Major Welch Trail. 6. Background you can feel free to skip:  For years, Bear Mountain State Park was a notable omission on HiketheHudsonValley.com, serving as arguably the most quintessential Hudson Valley hike not yet documented here. #5 - Perkins Memorial Tower via Appalachian Trail. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. The lot did seem to be very full on our way out around noon. People were parked illegally all over the place, including the center of the roundabout at the Bear Mountain Bridge, and were being ticketed accordingly. I made the unfortunate decision to take the ‘shortcut’ to the AT (with the money shot and tower behind me) which I now realize put us on the wrong part of the AT (headed back towards Georgia). Immediately after that picnic area turnoff, the well-marked Appalachian Trail heads into the woods on your left. It’s like a microcosm of the World. Thank you for this guide! Thanks for this great post and for the Google Map markers! See how many different languages you hear being spoken up there. AllTrails has 31 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. I went on a Saturday at 9 and only passed two groups on the way up (Major Welch); on the way down the Appalachian, however, there was quite a bit more people. Your email address will not be published. Unwind and experience nature and history. On your left, you can see across the field to the awesome carousel building. As long as you go in dry weather, those rocks shouldn’t be too slippery, though, and I wouldn’t expect them to slow you (or your pooch) down too much. The loop uses both the Appalachian Trail and the Major Welch Trail. Since I realized we were going to run out of light, I didn’t take the time to really think about how to begin our decent. I did this hike today on September 27, 2018, and the new section of the AT was open! 2. (Then you can volunteer, donate, or shop, depending on your mood.). Almost immediately, you should see the white-blazed Appalachian Trail heading downhill to your right. Enjoy the views and watch your step! That’s where you want to be – turn left to hop on the Appalachian Trail here. Flip-flops. If you’d like to pause this hike to go rent a paddleboat, now’s your chance! North face of Bear Mountain from Route 550 Bear Mountain is visible as an impressive peak from Route 550 south of Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. 5. It was quite busy in the parking lot and all but once we started hiking it wasn’t bad at all. My only regret about hiking Bear Mountain is that I didn’t do it sooner. When you’re done up there (or if you couldn’t get in, because you’ve done something bad), hop across the street to check out the views. Bear Mountain State Park is situated in rugged mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River. (I drove by Bear Mountain on the Fourth of July, 2017, and it was a madhouse. 13. Even the cheaters. It deserves to draw crowds, and there’s plenty of room on that rocky bluff for everyone. NPS. There WILL be people up there. For a great hiking experience, hike to the top of Bear Mountain. Take the rightmost option, toward the perimeter of Hessian Lake, to find the three funky red-circle-on-white blazes that you’ll follow on the Major Welch Trail all the way up. Thanks so much! See the NYC skyline over there? You can already tell where this is going. You’d probably get to over 1,000 if you counted the steps on the Major Welch Trail, too. Thank you so much for such an excellent and detailed guide! I don’t know if I’m more impressed at the dedication of the people who built those steps, or Andrew’s dedication for taking the time to count them all. **WARNING** While most Hudson Valley parks and trails have reopened, there are still a few notable closures and parking restrictions to be aware of. You may do better to hit this hike on a weekday – the parking lot can fill up on nice weekends. This is a phenomenal hike with fun rock-clambering, multiple wonderful views (some more secluded than others), and some of the most insane trailwork I’ve ever seen. Bear Mountain Hike: on the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut Bear Mountain, located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, is the highest peak in the state. If it’s open for you, hop in there and check it out! I came across your blog when searching for a hike in the area. At the parking lot entrance, let the attendant relieve you of $10, find a spot, then hop out and let the adventure begin! I am planning a visit to NYC end of April, thinking of visiting Bear Mountin and going a hike on 4/27. 15. When the trails split, turn right with the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, which continues up Dunderberg, with several spots where there are fine views of the Hudson River. do you think I would catch a worth it scene? There are some closures due to COVID-19 precautions, but … From the parking lot (see “Directions to the trailhead below”), cross the field to the left of the Bear Mountain Inn, either by walking across the field itself, or by tromping on the sidewalk that wraps around the inn. Treat yourself with spa, restaurant and shopping packages. Yes she is.). 716. “Shhhh, buddy, time to stop calling them ‘cheaters’ now,” I whispered. We did the hike in reverse this time and it was slightly steep at points going down but otherwise a very senic route. Major Welch is adequately (but not abundantly) marked through this area – look alive out there, and keep watching for those blazes. Please leave a comment! You can skip to Step 21 now (where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road in just a minute). You guys are tough, Steve! Our scheduled day-trip is the perfect way to take advantage of the unbeilievable hiking available just an hour from the doorstep of New Yorkers. (Took us about 12 minutes to get here from the cul-de-sac.). If you skip climbing Bear Mountain just because of the parking lot, you will be doing yourself a terrible disservice. There is an area called Sages Ravine that is just about 1 mile north on the AT after the junction with Paradise Trail (take a right and head down rather than the left to head up the mountain). 22. Intersects with the Divide Trail #36, eventually climbing up to Jicarita Peak (12,835’ elev.) 27. My son liked that one. (This is not to be confused with the highest point in the state. Thank you for taking the time to share!!! Immediately after you veer right at the cul-de-sac, the trail turns left, and you can hop down the stone steps to gratefully leave the pavement behind. Hi Mark — I always choose to do a loop when it’s an option, just to see more stuff. Thank you for your lovely mistake, Pamper your stress away with a visit to our spa. A fan favorite is the loop hike that starts at the Bear Mountain Inn, takes you up the Major Welch trail towards the famous Perkins Memorial Tower at the Bear Mountain Summit, and then down a portion of the Appalachian Trail back to the Inn. Bring food and water! I hope this all helps — good luck to all of you if you decide to give it a go! We’d only seen a handful of other hikers on the way up, but the summit was teeming with humanity. From the parking lot and at the stone staircase, follow the light blue blazes that takes you under the 9W viaduct bridge. (And in the vending machines, Pringles!) Aside from a few fallen trees that were easy to hop over, we didnt notice any concerns. (If she’s not a regular hiker, though, I’d recommend working up to this hike with some shorter ones first, just to make sure she’s up to it.) If you're living in CT and you're not sure what to do during a free day, I suggest taking a hike along the Appalachian Trail. The trail then descends. The area is a popular retreat from the city and surrounding suburbs, especially in … I did this hike today with a friend and it was amazing — great views and a fun scramble on the way up. Off line map is recommended to get oriented as several users have reported that this trail is not well marked and/or that there may be poor cell reception in this area. My son counted the steps until the novelty wore off – he made it to 200. There are about 1,000 stone steps between you and the end of the loop. Hi, I did the hike earlier today with a few others and it was absolutely stunning. Start at a parking area on US 9W near Jones Point, taking the joint Ramapo-Dunderberg (red) and Timp-Torne Trails (blue) up a fairly steep incline. What a great hike. Here’s one great way: Visit the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference homepage and click on Volunteer, Donate, or Shop! I wouldn’t attempt the road walk from Bear Mountain Bridge all the way along 202 to the Toll House, either — the road is quite twisty and not ideal at all for pedestrians. I waited until later in the day so we would have better light. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips. After many more steps and some beautiful stretches of trail, you’ll pop out onto another nice view, this time looking south down the river. Imagination and wonder can fill one's mind when walking this historic route. When my family visited Bear Mountain several years ago (we drove to the top that time, because, well, we had little kids and, hey! Hiking along the Appalachian trail I made a detour in Mt Everett State reservation. With hikes for every level of adventurer, there are hundreds of miles of trails to explore within the park and plenty of … Don’t go that way! There were several folks resting here when we ambled through. Just next door is Harriman State Park. learn more. There were quite a lot of felled trees. What a nice place to be, no matter how you got up here (but especially if you didn’t cheat). This is an old, less used, wonderful historic path from the Bear Mountain dock on the Hudson River to the pool, museum, inn, and the Appalachian Trail (AT). In a couple of minutes, when the road splits, take the right fork, toward Scenic View (not EXIT). Hope that helps – happy adventuring out there! What a cool spot. It sounds like you weren’t following the instructions above when you started heading for Georgia, but if there’s anything I can do to modify this trail guide to make sure others don’t hit the same problem, please let me know! Bear Mountain State Park park encompasses 5,000 acres of tree-covered trails, lake and river recreation, a variety of amenities, and 360-degree views looking out … To scamper down the short trail that goes under the Bear Mountain either thank you so much for all revolutionary! 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