Friday, December 30, 2011

Bear Mountain State Park, NY - Appalachian Trail to Hessian Lake

Bear Mountain State Park - Palisades Park Conservancy
Bear Mountain State Park - NY State Office of Parks and Recreation
Rebuilt Section of Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain - NY/NJ Trail Conference

GPS Coordinates 41.304258, -74.01571

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A narrow paved drive leads from Seven Lakes Drive to a hiker parking lot with room for about 10 cars.  This is a no fee parking lot where fees are charged for other Bear Mountain State Park lots.

Northern Harriman Bear Mountain Trails Map #119 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Bear Mountain Day Hikes Map (free map) - NY/NJ Trail Conference


APPALACHIAN TRAIL SECTION HIKING: - AT section miles 1379.7 to 1383.4

Bear Mountain -

During the winter Perkins Memorial Drive to the top of Bear Mountain is closed so there is no traffic and no crowds.

Facing the barrier at the end of the parking lot, turn left on the 1777W Trail which will merge with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail and left just before the Appalachian Trail crosses over Seven Lakes Drive.
The Appalachian Trail ascends Bear Mountain on foot paths, old paved roads and steps.

The mountains of Harriman State Park from the Appalachian Trail.
The Hudson Valley from Bear Mountain.
The Appalachian Trail is handicapped accessible at the top of Bear Mountain.
Perkins Tower
The New York City skyline from in front of Perkins Tower.
A deer on Bear Mountain.
Bear Mountain Bridge seen descending on the Appalachian Trail.
Hessian Lake
A Pileated Woodpecker near Hessian Lake.
The ice skating rink is visible from the yellow-blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail.

[  0.00]  Facing barrier at end of lot, turn left on 1777W trail
[  0.10]  White-blazed AT joins in from right
[  0.20]  Left on white-blazed AT when 1777W trail leaves to the right
[  0.25]  Cross Seven Lakes Drive
[  0.80]  Cross paved Perkins Memorial Drive (closed in winter)
[  0.85]  AT changes from woods road to old paved road
[  1.10]  AT leaves old paved road to left up steps
[  1.65]  Keep straight when the blue-blazed short cut trail goes right
[  2.00]  AT becomes handicapped accessible; keep straight on AT when shortcut to Major Welch trail goes left
[  2.30]  Perkins Tower
[  2.65]  Cross paved Perkins Memorial Drive
[  2.95]  Turn right at Perkins Memorial Drive and follow road
[  3.20]  At circle, AT leaves to the right
[  4.20]  At bottom of steps, AT follows old gravel/paved road to the left
[  4.35]  Yellow-blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail comes in from right; turn left on red circle on white Major Welch Trail
[  4.70]  Major Welch Trail leaves paved path to the left, keep straight on paved path around Hessian Lake
[  5.55]  Appalachian Trail comes in from the left and continues on paved lake path
[  5.75]  Left on yellow-blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail when white-blazed AT goes right
[  6.05]  Rock hop over creek
[  6.60]  Cross Seven Lakes Drive
[  7.20]  Yellow trail turns right at Doodletown map sign; few steps ahead keep right on 1777W when yellow goes left
[  7.75]  Appalachian Trail joins 1777W from the right
[  7.90]  Appalachian Trail leaves 1777W to the left
[  8.00]  Back at parking lot


  1. Replies
    1. The NY NJ Trail Conference rates it as "strenuous". I don't recall any rock scrambles but you are climbing up a mountain so it definitely takes more effort than a level trail.