Bear Mountain Loop – Should You Go There?

Best Feature: Stone Pyramid at peak, Views of Mt. Everett and Race
Closest City: Harrison Hot Springs
Hiking Trail Length: 9.7 Miles
Altitude Gained: 1100-ft
Hiking Trail Time: 4-6 Hours
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Hiking Trail Condition:
Best Season: Year Round

Longitude: -72.8045464 Degrees

Latitude: 43.6075686 Degrees


This Trail was created by combining several trails, some of them historic and providing you with some of the best views.

It will offer you scenic beauties like the Hessian Lake, Hudson River, Mountain Laurel, and Perkins Tower and even go past the Appalachian Trail since these are several combined trails. At 1100-ft, prepare to be taken away by all the beauty around you.

On your descent, weave up and down the granite ridges. Let the panoramic views of Bear Mountain, Black Mountain, West Mountain and Hudson River leave you in awe.

Routes to Take

Take the Grand Central Parkway to the Triborough Bridge then follow the signs will passing through the Major Deegan Expressway to I-95 west also known as Cross Bronx Expressway. Stay on the Cross Bronx all the way to George Washington Bridge and take the upper level of the bridge.

Remember to remain in the right-hand lane. At the New Jersey end, take the Palisades Interstate Parkway going North and take exit 6W (Pearl River), travel 2.5 miles on it and you should see Blue Hill Plaza on the left-hand side of the road.

From Bear Mountain Toll Bridge, travel over the Hudson River and head south along US 9W. Turn right into the Bear Mountain Inn but keep in mind that there is a parking fee. Go to the west side of the Inn and head west till you reach the Major Welch Trail which should be red-blazed.

Alternate Route

For an alternative route, from I-95 Express Lane, take Exit 73 which should be the last exit in New Jersey and turn right at Bruce Reynolds Boulevard. Make a left at the light on top of the ramp and go straight.

The entrance to the northbound Palisades Interstate Parkway should be on your right. If you are coming from New York City and going to the Palisades Interstate Parkway, take the upper level of the George Washington Bridge and take the first exit.

What We Love About This Hike

The Trail is easy and paved for your convenience while you are walking along the beautiful shores of Hessian Lake. It is a shady path which allows you to soak in all the beauty of Hessian lake while you walk at your own pace, letting the beauty around you sink in.

A few more walking time and you will see the Mountain Laurel and all its glory. Once you go past Hudson River, there are shady picnic groves where you can stop and relax. The trail will offer you some of the most beautiful vistas, nonstop.

The trail will offer you lots of beautiful scenery on your left and right so whip out your camera and take some stunning pictures of nature at its best.

Considerations before Taking This Hike

Of course, just like going out on a vacation or to any regular hike, never forget to check the weather forecast for the duration that you are to stay there. Plan your climbs so that you can stay on a schedule. If possible, download maps for your GPS hiking devices or simply download any maps that you can print out and bring with you on your trip. Do not forget your cameras, water (very important!), hiking shoes, and snacks.

But make sure that you will preserve the natural beauty of the place, bring along a trash bag where you can stuff your garbage in so that you do not leave any litter along the trail. Be well prepared by bringing alone some emergency medical packs for any cuts or bruises along the trail. Remember that this is a rocky trail and there are a lot of ridges, so better give that emergency kit some extra attention so that you do not forget it.

With all that in consideration, you are set to go and experience the beauty of the hiking trail. Bear Mountain Loop is a sight to behold and an experience to cherish. Bring along someone you want to share it with.

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