Things to do Near Bear Mountain

August 17, 2020

Bear Mountain State Park
Orange and Rockland Counties
Hudson River Valley

About Bear Mountain State Park

Lakes, ponds, forest, hills, and mountains abound at Bear Mountain. Bear Mountain is heavily forested, offering many natural and beautiful sights including Perkins Memorial Tower.

Of interest to hikers, the historic Appalachian trail is carried across the Bear Mountain Bridge and the Popolopen Suspension Footbridge in Bear Mountain. Although campgrounds and lodging are available, Bear Mountain Park is primarily a day-use park offering magnificent scenery, photo opportunities, and great hiking for all levels of hikers. The historic Bear Mountain Inn, situated in Bear Mountain Park, overlooks Hessian Lake and provides food and overnight accommodations. Food is also available at several vendors around Hessian Lake and in other areas of the park.

  • Park activities and attractions include playing field(s), shaded picnic groves, a dock on the Hudson for mooring small craft, lake and river fishing, pool, zoo and nature park, hiking, biking, cross-country ski trails and ski-jumps, Merry-Go-Round Pavilion, outdoor rink is open to ice skaters from late October through mid-March, and Trailside Museums and Visitor Center.

    Bear Mountain Inn
    The Bear Mountain Inn is located in the heart of Bear Mountain State Park. The historic rustic Bear Mountain Inn is a cozy retreat whose grace and charm have drawn discriminating guests since the early part of this century. The Inn overlooks Hessian Lake and provides food and overnight accommodations.

    Historic Merry-Go-Round Pavilion at Bear Mountain
    A wonderful attraction for kids and parents of all ages is the Bear Mountain Merry-Go-Round Pavilion. This historic Merry-Go-Round features hand painted scenes of Bear Mountain Park. When it comes to selecting the animal you want to ride; instead of horses you can select one of the native animals of Bear Mountain. Choose a black bear, wild turkey, fox, or even a rabbit or Canadian goose, and enjoy.

    Perkins Memorial Tower
    Hike, bike, or drive up Perkins Drive to Perkins Memorial Tower at the summit of Bear Mountain State Park. Experience breathtaking views as you make your way to the top to Perkins Point. Upon reaching Perkins Point you will be rewarded by one of the most beautiful views imaginable. The steep drive leading to Perkins Memorial Tower is 1, 305 feet above the Hudson River. With its 360-degree view you can see the Hudson River, the Bear Mountain Bridge, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Storm King, and Fort Montgomery. The observation floor of the tower offers displays describing the distant views, including the mountain ranges of the: Taconics, Ramapo, Shawangunk, and Catskill Mountains.

    Trailside Museums and Wildlife Center - Zoo
    The Trailside Museums & Zoo is located in Bear Mountain State Park. See pictures of Bear Mountain's 32 acres overlooking the scenic Hudson River. Read about the two-mile paved interpretive nature trail, resident native, non-releasable wildlife, and four museum buildings which house exhibits that interpret the geology, and natural history of the area and tell the story of the people who lived here. Visit the Local Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fish Museum. Learn about the 17 species of snakes indigenous to New York State. Visit the Geology Museum, History Museum and Nature Study Museum; all available at the Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park.

    At the zoo, children get a glimpse of many of the animals indigenous to the area. The kids enjoy seeing the bald eagle, fox, black bear, river otter, owl, hawk, deer, bobcat, turkey and various types of fish. The Trailside museums highlight the area's history, especially its importance in the Revolutionary War. Also learn about local geology and nature, live fish, reptiles and amphibians. The Trailside Museums at Bear Mountain is a wonderful attraction for all kids and adults.

    The Appalachian Trail
    In 1921, the idea for the Appalachian Trail originated with a volunteer forester Benton MacKaye. Benton conceived the Trail as a refuge from modern stresses, stretching along the spine of the Appalachian mountains, where hikers could re-connect with the natural world.

    On October 7, 1923 the first section of the Appalachian Trail was finished at Bear Mountain. This part of the trail took hikers south to the Delaware Water Gap and served as a model for the many trails that followed. Trails were later joined to comprise the now famous Appalachian Trail . Today, the Appalachian trail spans 2, 167 miles, and is the first National Scenic trail in the United States. Click to learn more about this Nationally renowned Appalachian Hiking Trail.

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