I like going to Bear Mountain in New York State, however, some of the hardest and scariest hikes I’ve done have been in that park. Bear Mountain was one of the first hikes my husband and I did. Somehow, we got lost and hiked over the mountain and to other side and main road. Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park is beautiful. You get a view of the Hudson Highlands, Hudson River, Iona Island, bald eagles, and Hudson Valley. Bear Mountain State Park also hosts cross country races.
In order to get back to our car at Bear Mountain, we either had to take a taxi or spend another 4+ hours hiking in the dark. By some miracle, there was a driver up there. When we discussed options that seemed like a silly one to even pursue.
If you’ve never been to Bear Mountain State Park, there is also a Bear Mountain Inn with park staff, full service, and guest services. This particular time, we started in a mist and by the time we were about halfway in, it was downpouring. Honestly, it wasn’t too bad. I invested in a nice Goretex jacket which kept me dry the entire time.
Here are a few photos from Bear Mountain:
In all, we had a great time at Bear Mountain. It was pouring rain, but it was definitely one to write home (or blog I guess) about. We hiked about 4 steep miles at Bear Mountain that day but with the scrambling, especially when it got wet, it was difficult. Typically the trail to get to the peak isn’t that rigorous.
As I mentioned last week, my husband and I have been enjoying hiking. After getting lost last week at Bear Mountain in New York State and spending several hours on the trails, we wanted to go back, retrace our steps and conquer the trails. There are hundreds of miles of trails at Bear Mountain, so it’s hard to run out of options.
Between Bear Mountain (New York State), Harriman State Park, the Hudson Highlands, you can’t run out of things to do. From hiking up Perkins Memorial Drive to Perkins Memorial Tower, to cross country skiing, boat rentals, to ice skating, to trailside museums and zoo, there us a lot to do. At the Trail trailhead for Bear Mountain State Park, there is Bear Mountain Inn. I think it would be fun to stay at Bear Mountain State Park and day hike sometime.
Bear Mountain State Park is one of my favorite parks in the Hudson alley and Rockland County.
Right now, I enjoy hiking because I’m able to be active without the worry of being injured. Hiking doesn’t use the same muscles as running, and I’m able to hike completely injury-free and “not worry about it.” Even though my running is currently injury-free, I still worry. During my injury, I’ve discovered a new and exciting hobby to be active. Plus, it allows me to see various local areas from a whole new view (and, of course, new diners too). Bear Mountain State Park gives beautiful views to Orange Counties, Hessian Lake, Hudson Valley, and Iona Island. Apparently, it’s possible to see bald eagles at the Bear Mountain State Park summit.
We started off near the lake and hiked upwards. The first 2 miles were nearly straight uphill to get to the top of Bear Mountain. Fitbit told me I climbed 100+ flights of stairs and two days later, I’m incredibly sore.
We made it to the summit of Bear Mountain and were able to see several different views, including the lake we started. It’s hard to believe how high we climbed.
After that, we worked our way in a large loop around Bear Mountain and to the opposite side. We were able to see a faint view of NYC about 50ish miles away. If you look closely towards the center, you can see the New York City skyline about 50 miles away.
Of course, we had to take a selfie as well at the summit of Bear Mountain.
Finally about four hours later, we got back to the bottom of Bear Mountain State Park. To be honest, I was more sore and tired than any run I’ve ever done. Hiking is a lot of fun and a serious workout.
Hiking at Bear Mountain State Park (New York State)
Last week, my husband and I went hiking. I’m new to hiking, but as I mentioned in a previous post, we want to see plenty of local places while we still live in New Jersey. We are both enjoying it, and it’s been a fun weekend hobby instead of traveling to road races. To be honest, hiking is an incredibly intense workout and it tires me out more than running.
For our next adventure, we drove 2 hours north into New York State to Bear Mountain State Park. Yes, Rockland County…no not “Upstate, NY”. As someone who went to school in Potsdam, NY, 30 miles north of New York City is not upstate.
Bear Mountain State Park is about 40 miles north of New York City. The park itself has a lot to do including a lake for swimming, trails, places to picnic and even a zoo. There are plenty of moderate trails to hike on the Appalachian Trail too.
When we went, it was a beautiful day which meant there was no parking at all. Most people were at the lake beach, in fact, even though hundreds of parking spots were filled, we only saw two other parties during our entire hike. Hessian Lake was a zoo and all of the picnic areas at Bear Mountain State Park were taken.
There are plenty of trails at Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Parkincluding moderate trails as well as more leisurely and historic trails. If you aren’t into hiking, there is seasonal cross country skiing, ice skating, boating, trailside museums and zoo, and swimming. In the parking lot of Bear Mountain State Park is the Bear Mountain Inn where you can stay overnight.
We started with the leisurely trails which included a lot of history stops.
After about a mile into our hike at Bear Mountain State Park, we went along the yellow trail and left the historic area. The trails became much more intense and there were some points we were almost rock climbing. Considering I’m clumsy, perhaps this wasn’t the best idea. Everything was fine, though and even my ankle felt okay.
It was almost shocking how quiet the trails were because of how busy the Hessian Lake was. While I was taking in the atmosphere, Tarzan appeared…just kidding.
After about 3 miles into our hike at Bear Mountain State Park and an hour and a half, we made it to the top. We could see New York State as well as New Jersey. There were views of Harriman State Park, Hudson Highlands, Bank of the Hudson, Iona Island, Perkins Memorial Tower, Perkins Memorial Drive, Palisades Interstate, Bear Mountain Bridge, and the Hudson Valley.
Talk about a view; it was one of the most incredible views on the East Coast I’ve seen.
After hanging out at the summit of Bear Mountain Mountain for a bit, we decided to head back. Despite having a map, we got lost. There is another red trail we ended up connecting too and it caused us to hike across the entire park.
Our hike was planned to be about 4 miles, but it was 6 for us. It wasn’t a big deal except I was starving. Luckily I packed a giant red velvet diner cookie from lunch.
The diner cookie was the real MVP of the hike.
We stopped along the way at Bear Mountain State Park to take photos. Like when I nailed yoga on a tree…(just kidding)
It was a great hike at Bear Mountain State Park and after finally getting back to the car, I was beyond exhausted. I felt like I had run a marathon, but views were worth it. Adding the extra 2 miles was definitely exhausting.
At the end of the day, we ended up hiking a 1000+ elevation gain (which is a lot for me). It was a great hike and we are looking forward to going back.