Our Bear Mountain Cruises are fully underway, and so is the autumn foliage. #BloggeronBoard hopped on our favorite fall cruise up the Hudson River on Sunday to check out the scenery, the hiking and of course, Oktoberfest. With several available dates left - some sold out and some remaining - we wanted to let our readers know some insider tips before they head up the mountain. This blog is all about preparedness so here are the ways we found for you to act like a boy scout before you take a hike with us to Bear Mountain State Park.
Fully charge your phones and cameras – There are endless photo opps at Bear Mountain. Every time you turn around, there will be a picturesque Instagram-able moment you will want to capture. Bear Mountain State Park is absolutely stunning. There is also a 2.5 hour journey up the Hudson River with nonstop sights along the way. The journey goes by pretty fast. There are snacks and drinks available for purchase on board, but don’t eat too much if you want to eat the German goodies at the park.
Bring cash – Most of the food and beverage carts will take credit cards, but there also small shops and local vendors who have or more minimums. Getting cash on the mountain can be a bit of a challenge, though there are a few ATM's in select buildings in the park. It is much easier to come with cash and enjoy your time there, rather than look for an ATM.
Choose the right shoes – Keep in mind, these are hiking trails. There are over 50 of them. So you definitely don’t want to be in sandals, heels, or white sneakers. The best bet is to wear a pair of boots so that you can weather any terrain. The fun of Bear Mountain State Park is in the exploration, so why be restricted in where you can go? The group is there for a solid 3 hours so if it rains and you're in the wrong footwear, your feet will get wet and muddy.
Lines can be deceiving – At Oktoberfest, everyone wants a Bratwurst with sauerkraut, a Knockwurst with caramelized onions or a cold German beer so they jump on the first line they see.That line can lengthen, wrap around and ultimately block your view of…the line with NO PEOPLE ON IT just around the corner. There are enough food vendors to go around, so if you are standing on a long line, make sure there isn’t a short line right under your nose.
Don’t miss the boat! – Though we wish we could stay at the park and Oktoberfest all day, we simply can’t. The boat leaves after approximately (3) hours and we will let you know an exact return time upon exiting the vessel. Please keep track of the time, and try to make your way back a little early to ensure you are coming home with us. Some people opt to stay at the gorgeous hotels they have on the property like Bear Mountain Inn. While stunning, these modernly rustic accommodations have limited capacity and often sell out. So please do not rely on them to have “room at the inn.” Also, “bear” in mind that if you do choose to stay, you will need to buy another ticket in advance to take you home the following day. Many of our Bear Mountain cruises sell out, so due to capacity restrictions on the boat, Circle Line 42 cannot be sure to have space for you without that ticket for your ride home.
[Bruce, Nicole, Maria and Lisa from Bridgewater, NJ and Bayside, NY; a humorous bunch we met along the hiking trail]