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Bear Mountain

Less than an hour from New York City, and yet Bear Mountain feels like a different world. It’s the perfect getaway for city dwellers looking to be immersed in nature, to hike out on secluded trails and enjoy stunning Hudson Valley views, with the Manhattan skyline in the distance.

The parking lots and lawns can get a bit crowded on summer weekends with visitors picnicking and paddling on the lake, but as soon as you venture out onto the trails you can get away from the hustle and bustle. With 50 official trails covering over 200 miles there’s plenty of space and every kind of hike you might want. If you just want the views without the hike, drive up to Perkins Memorial Drive to the summit. The view is stunning. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to stop by the Trailside Zoo or the year-round indoor historic carrousel.

There’s also the historic Bear Mountain Inn that was built in 1915 and was recently restored. Here you can find a cafe and restaurant, and comfortable rooms if you want to spend the night.

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Things to Do & See

Here are some of the best things to do in Bear Mountain. Add them to your trip and we'll hold on to them in your Travelog. Look for to find free stuff.

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Perkins Memorial Drive

This scenic road leads to Bear Mountain's summit and provides views of four states and even the Manhattan skyline 40 miles away.

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Trailside Museums and Zoo

Referencing the Appalachian Trail that runs through the complex, the zoo features animals that were injured and need care, including bears, otters, deer, and ball eagles. There's also a Nature Study Museum, a Geology Museum, and a History Museum, with exhibits about colonial and Native American culture.

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Perkins Memorial Tower

Sitting atop Bear Mountain's summit, this tower honors the PIPC's first director, George W. Perkins. Open during the spring, summer, and fall - weather permitting. Take Perkins Memorial Drive to the top, or, if you're up for it, challenge yourself with the roughly 4-mile hike up.

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Bear Mountain Pool

Open from late June to Labor Day, 7 days a week. Lockers are available, but bring your own lock.

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Hessian Lake Loop

Nice easy stroll around Hessian Lake. The paved path makes this 1.5-mile loop manageable for all physical abilities and starts and ends adjacent to Bear Mountain Inn.

Top-Reviewed Restaurants

You're probably going to get hungry while you're there, but what's good in the area?

We've asked our friends at Yelp to keep us updated on what's cool and tasty, and they sent over their top-rated Bear Mountain eats. Add some to your trip and we'll store them for you.

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