Bear Mountain State Park is located on the west side of the Hudson River in both Orange and Rockland counties in New York State. The 5,067-acre (20.51 km2) Bear Mountain State Park, flagship of the Palisades Interstate Park System, is renowned for its natural beauty and rugged mountains and is just 50 miles north of midtown New York City (via Palisades Interstate Pkwy North), in the historic and beautiful Hudson River Valley.
Things to Do at Bear Mountain State Park
Magnificent landscapes of lakes, ponds, forest, hills, and mountains abound at Bear Mountain. Bear Mountain is heavily forested, offering the natural beauty of sights such as
Perkins Memorial Tower.
Historic Appalachian Trail
Bear Mountain Park attractions and activities include a large playing field, picnic groves, rowboats for hire and docks on
Hessian Lake, swimming pool and bathhouse, nature trails including key segments of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Long Path, basketball court, Trailside Museums and Zoo, Iona Island Estuarine Reserve and Bird Refuge, Perkins Tower, and the Merry-Go-Round. Many winter activities are available at Bear Mountain Park, including an outdoor rink that is open for ice-skating from late October through mid-March.
Of interest to hikers, the historic Appalachian Trail is carried across the
Bear Mountain Bridge and the Popolopen Suspension Bridge. 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.
Perkins Memorial Tower sits 1,305 feet above the Hudson River, atop Bear Mountain. Perkins Point and Perkins Memorial Tower afford spectacular views of the park, the Hudson Highlands and Harriman State Park. Driving, biking, or hiking along Perkins Memorial Drive offers breathtaking views from many vantage points leading to
Perkins Memorial Tower perched at the top of the mountain. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of many picnic spots that are available along Perkins Memorial Drive.
to enlarge photo of sign - Popolopen Creek Trail to Fort Montgomery.
Popolopen Creek Trail to Fort Montgomery
Walk the Popolopen Creek Trail to Fort Montgomery where you will "standon the site of Fort Clinton, which was built along with Fort Montgomery to prevent British ships from sailing up the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War. On October 6, 1777, the British captured both forts and destroyed them shortly thereafter.
"This trail leads down to the Popolopen Creek and across the
Popolopen Suspension Footbridge to Fort Montgomery State Historic Site. Fort Montgomery is an archeological site and a historic ruin. Interpretive signs and an audio tour are available to help understand the history of the fort and the battle."
Educational Activities for Kids
Educational attractions that are fun for kids include the Trailside Museum and Zoo, and the historic Merry-Go-Round featuring beautifully hand carved seats of native animals. After a ride on the merry-go-round, visit the zoo and see how many native animals you can recognize. Perhaps your children can help name the animals native to Bear Mountain.
Kids Attractions at Bear Mountain
The Merry-Go-Round Pavilion at Bear Mountain features hand painted scenes of the park and hand carved seats of native animals including: black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, Canada goose, fox, swan, bobcat, rabbit and more. For more about this historic Merry-Go-Round at Bear Mountain, visit
Merry-Go-Round at Bear Mountain.
Trailside Museum and Zoo
There are four museums at Trailside. The Reptile and Amphibian House is home to a variety of turtles, snakes, frogs, toads, salamanders and skinks as well as many species of fish. The Nature Study Museum houses specimens originally created by the Museum of Natural History to educate people about animal identification. Visitors can learn about geologic formations of the Hudson Highlands in the Geology Museum and local Native American and early settler culture in the History Museum.
Activities and Things to Do at Bear Mountain
Bird Conservation Areas
Fishing (lake and river fishing)
Food vendors at park and restaurants at Bear Mountain Inn
Nature Trails and Study (descriptive sinage throughout)
Pool (very large pool)
Ice Skating at Outdoor rink (Late October through mid-March)
Attractions at Bear Mountain
Perkins Memorial Drive & Tower
Scenic landscapes (Photograph opportunities)
Zoo and Nature Park
Accessible indicates that, to the extent possible, this facility or activity meets the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards. It is strongly recommended that you contact the facility in advance for a full description of facilities.
Location: Bear Mountain