Bear Mountain Summit Loop

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September 17, 2022 – Stony Level, NY

Issue: Simple – Average

Size: Roughly 2.7 miles

Max elevation: 1,289 ft. – whole elevation acquire roughly 494 ft.

Route kind: Circuit

Purchase Maps (Paper & Avenza): Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails Map #119

Free Bear Mountain Summit Path Map: Bear Mountain Hikes, NY

Free Bear Mountain Summit Avenza Map: Bear Mountain Hikes, NY

Free Net Map: Bear Mountain State Park Path Map 2019

Free Avenza App Map: Bear Mountain State Park Path Map 2019

Trailhead parking: Perkins Memorial Drive, Stony Level, NY 10980

Paved parking zone – loos on web site


Park Overview:

The 5,205-acre Bear Mountain State Park is located in rugged mountains rising from the west financial institution of the Hudson River. The Perkins Memorial Tower on the summit of Bear Mountain offers guests spectacular views of the park, the Hudson Highlands and the rolling hills of Harriman State Park. A scenic drive to the highest of the mountain, alongside Perkins Memorial Drive, is a extremely popular vacation spot within the park for vacationers and sightseers. Perkins Memorial Drive and Tower are open from April by late November, climate allowing.

The park consists of Bear Mountain in addition to Dunderberg Mountain and West Mountain. Fort Montgomery is adjoining to the north fringe of the park whereas Iona Island Hen Sanctuary is on the jap edge on the Hudson River. Bear Mountain State Park is a separate entity from the adjoining Harriman State Park which runs alongside the western fringe of the park, however are managed as a single unit.

Bear Mountain State Park is 45 miles north of New York Metropolis within the Hudson Highlands. Probably the most visited parks within the Northeast, Bear Mountain hosts greater than 3 million annual guests. Bear Mountain is accessible by automotive and bus and is a well-liked day use park. It’s typically too widespread; the state often shuts the park down to manage crowds throughout the hotter months.


Historical past:

In the course of the American Revolution, when management of the Hudson River was considered by the British as important to dominating the American territories, the world that was to change into the park noticed a number of vital army engagements. In 1777 British troops routed Patriots at Fort Montgomery. Anthony Wayne’s assault of the British fort at Stony Level moved colonial troops to the west of Bear Mountain.

In 1908, the State of New York introduced plans to relocate Sing Sing Jail to Bear Mountain. Work was begun within the space close to Highland Lake (renamed Hessian Lake) and in January 1909, the state bought the 740-acre Bear Mountain tract. Conservationists impressed by the work of the Palisades Interstate Park Fee lobbied efficiently for the creation of the Highlands of the Hudson Forest Protect, stopping the jail from being constructed.

Mary Averell Harriman, whose husband, Union Pacific Railroad president E. H. Harriman died in September of that 12 months, provided the state one other 10,000 acres and a million {dollars} towards the creation of a state park. George W. Perkins, with whom she had been working, raised one other $1.5 million from a dozen rich contributors together with John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan.

Bear Mountain-Harriman State Park turned a actuality the next 12 months when the jail was demolished and a dock constructed for steamboat tour visitors. The park opened in June 1913. Steamboats alone introduced greater than 22,000 passengers to the park that 12 months. Tenting at Hessian Lake (and later at Lake Stahahe) was immensely widespread; the typical keep was eight days and was a favourite for Boy Scouts. By 1914 it was estimated that greater than 1,000,000 individuals a 12 months have been coming to the park.

Within the 1930’s the federal authorities beneath Franklin D. Roosevelt was creating plans to protect the setting as a part of the Melancholy-era public works packages; the Civil Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration spent 5 years on initiatives on the park. Pump homes, reservoirs, sewer methods, trip lodges, loos, properties for park workers, storage buildings and an administration constructing have been all created by these packages. Each the Perkins Memorial Drive and Perkins Memorial Tower have been constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1932 and 1934. The winding, steep drive was dynamited out of Bear Mountain by 1,500 NYS Short-term Reduction Employees. Work started on November 21, 1932 and the drive and tower opened on October 31, 1934. President and Mrs. Roosevelt have been among the many first guests.

Perkins Memorial Drive 1933 - Palisades Parks Conservancy

Perkins Memorial Drive 1933 – Palisades Parks Conservancy

Perkins Memorial Tower was constructed with funds offered by the Perkins household. The tower is 65 toes excessive and 30’x30′ on the base. It was constructed of native stone from a quarry on the base of Bear Mountain.

Perkins Memorial Tower - Bear Mountain

Perkins Memorial Tower – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path~

It was in Bear Mountain State Park again in 1923 when the very first part of the Appalachian Path was constructed and blazed. It formally opened on October 7, 1923 and served as a sample for the opposite sections of the path developed independently by native and regional organizations and later by the federal authorities. The Appalachian Path has been re-routed quite a few instances on Bear Mountain since its founding in 1923 as a consequence of erosion triggered from 100,000+ hikers a 12 months.

Within the fall of 2018, the New York-New Jersey Path Convention accomplished the Bear Mountain Trails Venture, essentially the most formidable rehabilitation of the Appalachian Path (AT) ever carried out. Of the complete 2,200 miles of the AT, the part that runs by Bear Mountain State Park is the oldest and most closely used. Over 90 years in the past, it was Path Convention volunteers who blazed this unique portion of the AT and opened it to the general public. By 2004, the Bear Mountain path had change into an eroded, 10-foot-wide scar.

Work on the path included hardening the tread with 1,300 granite steps, every of which weighed between 500 and 800 kilos and wanted to be moved from the underside of Bear Mountain to the summit. The mission additionally included developing the primary ADA-compliant part of the AT.

The primary part of the Appalachian Path relocation was opened on June fifth, 2010 (Nationwide Trails Day) and consisted of roughly 700 steps. A second part together with an A.T. loop and almost 1/2 mile of absolutely accessible path on the highest of Bear Mountain was formally opened on June sixth, 2011 (Nationwide Trails Day).


Trails Overview:

There are over 50 official trails masking over 235 miles, that includes a variety of difficulties and elevation modifications.

The Appalachian Path passes by old-growth forest on its method to Perkins Memorial Tower atop Bear Mountain, with scenic overlooks and spectacular views of the Hudson River and Dunderberg, Bald, and West mountains alongside the way in which. The tower may also be reached by automotive, and a portion of the trail on the summit is wheelchair accessible.

Bear Mountain Summit Trails

Bear Mountain Summit Trails


Hike Overview:

I’ve been on the summit of Bear Mountain extra instances than I can rely. I’ve all the time pushed to the highest to benefit from the views from Perkins Tower and the point of view simply off the parking zone the place the crowds appear to assemble. I had by no means bothered to discover the paths across the summit till final 12 months. Coping with some well being points, I needed to get open air and revel in some Hudson Valley views with out the bodily exertion required on a hike. Strolling round on the summit led me to the western aspect of the mountain the place the AT passes by in addition to a few blue connector trails. I’ve since returned a number of instances to discover somewhat extra and determined to do a brief loop hike using the AT and the deserted part Perkins Memorial Drive to hyperlink it collectively.

This hike descends stone steps right down to an deserted part of Perkins Memorial Drive then climbs extra stone steps because it regains the elevation misplaced on the way in which down. Alongside the way in which there are quite a few views and little foot visitors. This hike is ideal for the informal hiker or these not in search of a deep woods expertise. Relying on the time of day or season, you’ll encounter hordes of individuals across the neighborhood of Perkins Tower. The farther you progress away from that space, the much less individuals you’ll encounter. We arrived on the summit round 8:30am on a Saturday Morning in late September and there have been a number of automobiles already there. By the point we returned to the parking space, round 11:15am, there have been many automobiles, bikes, bikes and other people milling round having fun with the surroundings. My recommendation is to get there early earlier than the crowds.

Bear Mountain Summit Loop

Bear Mountain Summit Loop

elevation profile - Bear Mountain Summit Loop

elevation profile – Bear Mountain Summit Loop


The Hike:

Throughout the paved loop highway, with Perkins Memorial Tower in your left, there’s a kiosk with a map and data on the northwest aspect of the summit. Simply to the proper of the kiosk is a fork. The best fork, blazed with the two″x6″ white blazes of the Appalachian Path (AT) and the red-ring-on-white blazes of the Main Welch Path, will likely be your return route, however for now, proceed forward by the parking zone and if the tower is open, you could wish to go inside to test it out.

kiosk - Bear Mountain summit

kiosk – Bear Mountain summit

A.T. Trailhead - Bear Mountain summit

A.T. Trailhead – Bear Mountain summit

Bear Mountain summit

Bear Mountain summit

Bear Mountain summit

Bear Mountain summit

Located 1,305 toes above the Hudson River, the 360 diploma panoramic views from Perkins Tower are spectacular. On a transparent day, 4 states and the Manhattan skyline may be seen from the tower. The statement flooring has interpretive shows that describe the distant surroundings. Perkins Memorial Tower was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1932 and 1934. The tower was closed once we arrived at roughly 8:30am on a Saturday in September.

Perkins Memorial Tower - Bear Mountain State Park

Perkins Memorial Tower – Bear Mountain State Park

The tower was constructed to honor the reminiscence of George W. Perkins (1862-1920), the primary President of the Palisades Interstate Park Fee. The tower served as a fireplace lookout station till the 1950’s. It’s now open to the general public.

Perkins Memorial Tower – Bear Mountain State Park

Perkins Memorial Tower – Bear Mountain State Park

Proceed previous the tower and proceed forward to a broad south-facing viewpoint, with Dunderberg Mountain jutting into the Hudson River to the left. Rustic benches have been positioned on this space for guests to relaxation and benefit from the views. Observe the Manhattan skyline seen within the distance.

rustic bench - Bear Mountain summit

rustic bench – Bear Mountain summit

NYC skyline - Bear Mountain summit

NYC skyline – Bear Mountain summit

Wanting south over the Hudson River from Bear Mountain at 8:30am.

Hudson River view - Bear Mountain summit

Hudson River view – Bear Mountain summit

Hudson River view - Bear Mountain summit

Hudson River view – Bear Mountain summit

rustic bench - Bear Mountain summit

rustic bench – Bear Mountain summit

After having fun with the view, head again in direction of the tower, however bear proper at a fork within the path. Instantly forward, on a rock, you’ll discover a plaque positioned to commemorate the service of Joseph Bartha as Trails Chairman of the New York-New Jersey Path Convention from 1940 to 1955.

Joseph Bartha Plaque - Bear Mountain Summit

Joseph Bartha Plaque – Bear Mountain Summit

Bear proper on the plaque and descend alongside the white-blazed Appalachian Path. You now are following a spectacular path part, opened in phases between 2010 and 2018, that was constructed over a 13-year interval by skilled path builders and AmeriCorps path crews, together with Path Convention volunteers.

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain Summit

In about half a mile, after having descended almost 400 stone steps, you’ll attain a viewpoint on the proper over Dunderberg Mountain to the southeast. Right here, the path bears left and ranges off. It then climbs somewhat and crosses a stream channeled between two rock slabs.

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain Summit

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain Summit

The height on the left, rising simply above the leaves is Bald Mountain. The height simply left of the notch (left of middle) is The Timp and West Mountain is the lengthy ridge on the proper.

view south - Appalachian Trail

view south – Appalachian Path

view south – Appalachian Trail

view south – Appalachian Path

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

A brief distance past, the path descends a number of lengthy flights of stone steps and crosses an deserted part of the Perkins Memorial Drive. Right here you must flip proper, leaving the Appalachian Path and head in a westerly path alongside the asphalt highway. Chances are you’ll discover some blue blazes alongside the way in which. This part of paved highway connects two totally different sections of the AT.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Turn right at the junction

Flip proper on the junction

abandoned Perkins Drive - Bear Mountain

deserted Perkins Drive – Bear Mountain

The highway passes under the tall cliffs that you just have been simply on moments earlier, then runs alongside a stone retaining wall. In about 0.3-mile, the paved highway reaches a junction with the opposite aspect of the Appalachian Path. Flip proper on the junction because the AT climbs steeply up the mountain on stone steps.

abandoned Perkins Drive - Bear Mountain

deserted Perkins Drive – Bear Mountain

abandoned Perkins Drive - Bear Mountain

deserted Perkins Drive – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Comply with the white blazes as they climb the stone steps alongside the southwest slope of Bear Mountain. This part of path is kind of spectacular. The best way the stone steps snake their manner up the mountain is nothing in need of spectacular. The employees that constructed this part have been craftsmen and artists.

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Because the path climbs the southwestern slope of Bear Mountain, it passes a number of rock ledges with open views to the southwest over the rolling hills of Harriman State Park.

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

The AT climbs extra stone steps and passes huge boulders that type a rock wall.

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

The AT descends stone steps, passes by an open space and shortly reaches the western summit of Bear Mountain with wide-ranging views. A brief distance later the A.T. emerges on a flat pockmarked rock floor with a country bench proper within the middle.

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail - Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

This makes for a wonderful place to take a break and benefit from the view. The majority of the elevation acquire for this hike is finished when you attain this spot.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

When you’re able to proceed, just some toes from the bench is the beginning of one other blue-blazed path at a south-facing viewpoint over West Mountain. Comply with the blue blazes alongside this brief, however picturesque spur path. You’ll return again to the bench when you find yourself finished.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Flip proper and observe the blue-blazed aspect path, which quickly emerges on one other rock outcrop, with glorious views to the west (Queensboro Lake could also be seen under). This aspect path follows a former route of the Main Welch Path and was blazed by volunteers as a aspect path to the A.T. to protect the magnificent views.

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

In 500 toes, the aspect path ends at a triple blaze. It appears like you possibly can go somewhat farther, however we didn’t go a lot farther previous the tip of the path.

Blue Spur Trail - Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Trail – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Retrace your steps to the A.T., then flip left and proceed alongside the A.T. because it heads northeast on a comparatively stage grade. When the AT reaches a junction with one more blue-blazed path, proceed forward following the white blazes. The Blue Path can be utilized as a bailout possibility if one chooses. It ends on the parking space the place the hike started. It is usually a phenomenal part of path.

Blue Spur Trail – Bear Mountain

Blue Spur Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

This part of the A.T. options extra stone steps, most of which have been formed on-site from native rock. Quickly, you’ll go two enormous boulders to the proper, with stone steps curving down from the tip of the primary boulder.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Because the path reaches the northernmost part of the summit, you possibly can see the injury from a brush fireplace that occurred in mid August of 2022.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

After ascending stone steps, you’ll attain a spectacular north-facing viewpoint over the Hudson River and the hills of the West Level Army Reservation, with Brooks Lake seen instantly under. Forward, you will notice a stone pillar that when marked the boundary between the park and West Level.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

After ascending extra stone steps, there’s a bench and a viewing platform. This makes for a pleasant spot to take a break.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

The final third of a mile has been designed to be ADA compliant, thus allowing all customers to take pleasure in a phenomenal part of the A.T. Even this path part has been skillfully designed to mix in with the environment.

Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Proceed following the white blazes alongside the well-graded gravel path which quickly runs collectively with the Main Welch Path, which is available in from the left. In a brief distance, you’ll cross a gravel service highway and go a large boulder on the left. Atop the boulder are the concrete foundations of a former fireplace tower (changed in 1934 by the Perkins Memorial Tower).

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

Simply past, the Appalachian Path reaches the paved loop highway across the summit, close to Perkins Memorial Tower, the place the hike started.

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Trail – Bear Mountain

ADA Compliant Appalachian Path – Bear Mountain


Overview:

A splendid hike, brief however very candy. I extremely suggest this hike. It has a lot to supply. Views galore, huge boulders and erratics, and the stone steps are a masterpiece. My recommendation is to get there early earlier than the crowds come. By 11:15am once we have been finished, there have been fairly a number of individuals within the space round Perkins Tower. Not as many as I’ve seen in days previous, however sufficient that we didn’t keep too lengthy after the hike. Nonetheless, a extremely scenic hike that’s doable by most.

Execs:

Views galore, Appalachian Path, properly marked trails, scenic panorama, full and moveable restrooms, paved parking zone.

Cons:

The world round Perkins Memorial Tower can get actually crowded on good days.


Take a hike!

Bear Mountain Summit Loop

Bear Mountain Summit Loop


Sources:




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