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What Is Bear Mountain State Park?

Bear Mountain State Park is a natural oasis offering breathtaking scenery, outdoor activities, and a rich tapestry of wildlife. Nestled along the Hudson River in New York, it's a haven for hikers, bird-watchers, and families seeking adventure. Discover the park's serene trails, picnic spots, and historic sites. Ready to explore the wonders of Bear Mountain? Join us on this journey.
Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton

People who would like to enjoy nature and partake in outdoor recreation may want to visit Bear Mountain State Park. This state park is located in southeastern New York, and lies partly in Orange and Rockland counties. It consists of over 5,000 acres of woodlands, mountain terrain, and open field, much of which is along the Hudson River. Visitors to this park can enjoy a number of outdoor activities like boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycling.

Bear Mountain State Park has many attractions, and some of these are a trailside museum and zoo, merry-go-round, and boat rentals. There is a swimming pool, which is open during the summer months, and an ice skating rink that can be used during the winter. A restaurant and gift shop are located at this state park, both of which are wheelchair-accessible. Perkins memorial drive takes visitors to the summit of Bear Mountain, and people who climb the tower there can see four states as well as the skyline of Manhattan.

Ice skating can be enjoyed at the Bear Mountain State Park during the winter months.
Ice skating can be enjoyed at the Bear Mountain State Park during the winter months.

This New York park is open year-round, and the hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset each day. The hours of some of the attractions vary by season, while others are closed during the winter months. For example, the merry-go-round operates only on weekends and holidays from September through March, while Perkins Memorial Drive and Tower are closed from December through April each year. The trailside museum and zoo are open year-round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year.

Hiking is a common activity for visitors of Bear Mountain State Park.
Hiking is a common activity for visitors of Bear Mountain State Park.

People who would like to stay at Bear Mountain State Park can choose from stone cottages or rooms at the Overlook Lodge. All accommodations have kitchenettes with microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker. Other amenities include high-speed Internet access, computer workstations, cable television, telephone, ironing board, and iron. These rooms are decorated in a rustic theme, which includes quilted linens and oak furniture throughout. There may be two double beds or one king bed in each room; roll-away beds are available upon request.

The merry-go-round is a weekend attraction at Bear Mountain State Park.
The merry-go-round is a weekend attraction at Bear Mountain State Park.

Autumn is a busy season at Bear Mountain State Park, as people from all over the United States and Canada come here to view the fall foliage. For this reason, it can sometimes be difficult to reserve a room at the state park during that time. People who are planning a visit to this New York retreat may want to plan several months in advance in order to make sure they are able to take advantage of the scenery and recreation offered here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bear Mountain State Park known for?

Bear Mountain State Park is renowned for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and historical significance. It offers a diverse range of activities such as hiking, picnicking, fishing, and cross-country skiing. The park is also home to the Bear Mountain Inn, a Perkins Memorial Tower with stunning Hudson River views, and the Trailside Museums and Zoo. Its accessibility from New York City makes it a popular escape for nature enthusiasts.

Can you visit Bear Mountain State Park year-round?

Yes, Bear Mountain State Park is open year-round, offering different experiences each season. In the spring and summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, and picnicking. Fall brings spectacular foliage, while winter offers ice skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing. The park's varying landscapes and activities make it a destination for all seasons.

What wildlife can you see at Bear Mountain State Park?

At Bear Mountain State Park, visitors can encounter a variety of wildlife. Common sightings include white-tailed deer, raccoons, and various bird species such as hawks and ospreys. The Trailside Museums and Zoo provide a closer look at local wildlife, including black bears, reptiles, and amphibians. Always remember to observe wildlife from a distance and follow park guidelines to protect both animals and visitors.

Are there any fees to enter Bear Mountain State Park?

There is a vehicle entry fee for Bear Mountain State Park, which varies depending on the time of year. As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, the fee is typically around $10 per vehicle, but it's best to check the latest information on the New York State Parks website or contact the park directly for current rates and any changes to the fee structure.

What are some must-see attractions within Bear Mountain State Park?

Must-see attractions within Bear Mountain State Park include the Perkins Memorial Tower atop Bear Mountain for panoramic views, the historic Bear Mountain Inn for dining and accommodations, and the Trailside Museums and Zoo for educational exhibits about local flora and fauna. Hiking enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to trek part of the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the park.

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Discussion Comments

Ivan83
How far is this park from NYC? Would it make for a suitable day trip?
whiteplane

I think that Bear State Park is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy all the natural splendor of the Hudson. Many people only know the Hudson from the places where it winds through cities. This view would give you the impression that it is full of barges and industrial waste. But once you get into the country the river is really quite beautiful.

nextcorrea

Every fall my family would drive to Bear State Park to get a look at all the beautiful changing leaves. You honestly feel like you are in a painting. The trees are so densely packed and all of them change into most beautiful yellows oranges and browns that you have ever seen.

I live in southern California now and we have no autumn to speak of. We definitely don't have oceans of fall colors. I like the weather out here but I really miss the way the seasons change back east.

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    • Ice skating can be enjoyed at the Bear Mountain State Park during the winter months.
      By: vnlit
      Ice skating can be enjoyed at the Bear Mountain State Park during the winter months.
    • Hiking is a common activity for visitors of Bear Mountain State Park.
      By: blas
      Hiking is a common activity for visitors of Bear Mountain State Park.
    • The merry-go-round is a weekend attraction at Bear Mountain State Park.
      By: EvanTravels
      The merry-go-round is a weekend attraction at Bear Mountain State Park.