Home Travel Adventure Uncover New York: A Day Journey Escape To Bear Mountain [Photo Essay]

Uncover New York: A Day Journey Escape To Bear Mountain [Photo Essay]

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Prepared to flee town and embark on a nature-filled journey. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

Regardless of dwelling in New York Metropolis I do personal a automobile.

Truly, let me rephrase that.

I pay for a automobile; nonetheless, as a result of within the one month I saved it right here I racked up $400 in crimson gentle digicam and parking tickets I made a decision to retailer it at my guardian’s home on close by Lengthy Island.

Lately they came over for the day and I requested them to go away it for me so I might use it for just a few weeks and do some day journeys.

My first: a solo feminine highway journey to Bear Mountain for some mountaineering!

Lake Hessian, close to the doorway of Bear Mountain State Park. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

There are 5,067 acres (2,051 hectares) in Bear Mountain State Park plagued by mountaineering trails (to not point out picnicking, paddle boating, rowing, driving a carousel, scenic drives and trail-side museums).

After parking ($8 per automobile) I went as much as the Auxiliary Constructing to seize a path map, which, to be trustworthy, was fairly complicated — I might recommend buying a Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks Trails Illustrated Map or Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails Information when you’re actually critical about doing one of the best path attainable.

Wandering a secluded path on Bear Mountain. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

Let me preface this by saying the night time earlier than heading to Bear Mountain — touring solo — I (stupidly) watched the film Zodiac.

If in case you have not seen it (spoiler alert!) there’s a scene the place a pair is having a lakeside park picnic that ends in a really painful and gory bloodbath by a deranged killer who has been watching them.

Additionally, this film is predicated on a real story…which means your entire drive up I used to be questioning if I might even have the heart to get of my automobile within the wilderness the place anybody (just like the Zodiac killer — who is definitely lifeless) may very well be watching me.

I’m additionally somebody who jumps each time the telephone rings and may’t look in a mirror as soon as solar units as I’m afraid of seeing Bloody Mary in my reflection.

Clearly I shouldn’t be watching scary motion pictures.

There are many stairs to climb with this hike, though I didn’t discover any to be too too steep. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

My major goal — earlier than poisoning my thoughts with horror motion pictures — was to discover a secluded path to seek out internal peace and clear my head, as I’ve had lots of stress in my life recently.

I stared on the map I procured from the park, looking for a difficult path not many individuals would traverse, however sadly had lots of bother discovering the place to begin. So, I wandered.

There have been so many scenic and quiet trails across the mountain with completely no person on them.

And I did go up just a few of them for a bit.

Finally, nonetheless, I made a decision to finish one which at the very least had just a few folks on it so {that a}) I might be protected from serial killers and b) somebody would be capable to assist me if I bought damage on the path.

Following the path markers to the Perkins Memorial Tower and Bear Mountain summit. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

Desk of Contents

  • The Perkins Memorial Tower Path
  • The Historical past Of Bear Mountain
  • Hessian Lake & Some Odd Observances
  • Subsequent Time
  • Bonus New York Mountaineering Trails

The Perkins Memorial Tower Path

I finally selected the Perkins Memorial Tower Path as a result of it promised a historic museum and the prospect to summit Bear Mountain.


In my view, this is likely one of the finest mountaineering trails in Upstate NY and a real spotlight of Hudson Valley tourism.

For it, I adopted the white blazes to traverse alongside a part of the well-known Appalachian Path, as six miles (10 kilometers) of it are within the park. There have been fairly a little bit of stone steps alongside the best way and lots of uphill climbing, though there wasn’t any level the place I felt breathless (I did work up fairly a sweat, although!).

Just a few lookout factors provided a scenic break and the prospect to cease for lunch, and the path was very easy and clearly marked.

What I favored about this path was that, as somebody mountaineering on their very own, I used to be by no means removed from one other hiker. If something occurred to me on this path, there was a 0% probability that no person would hear me scream.

That was a really soothing thought. On the similar time, this was additionally what I didn’t like concerning the path.

For instance, on the best way down I had two youngsters battling with one another with picket sticks and screaming as they pretended to joust.

I couldn’t assist however want the park rangers would impose a effective to anybody not utilizing their indoor voice.

Whimsical bridge crossing alongside the path. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

On one other be aware, what’s it with folks mountaineering in heels, mini skirts, slacks and fits? Do these folks get up and suppose “I’m mountaineering a mountain right this moment. I feel I’ll go together with the little black costume!”

Okay, so it’s not Mount Everest; nonetheless, if I’m actively working up a sweat I personally keep on with exercise gear.

Total, the hike took me about 90 minutes-to-two hours spherical journey.

I might fee it as reasonable, as there are are lots of uphill sections however nothing overly steep so long as you’re in first rate bodily situation.

View from the primary lookout level alongside the Perkins Memorial Tower Path. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

The Historical past Of Bear Mountain

Total, although, I had an incredible hike — particularly when the Perkins Memorial Tower on the high awarded me a dose of heritage.

Inside, there’s a small three-floor museum and lookout with previous photographs and historic explanations.

Mid/late September and already the leafs are beginning to change colours. Stunning. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

The Perkins Memorial Tower was inbuilt 1934 — paying homage to George W. Perkins, founder and first president of the Palisades Interstate Park Fee — with the park itself being established by Perkins in 1900.

His objective was to provide the general public a spot to take pleasure in nature in addition to have an reasonably priced and nutritious meal, which is why he additionally based The Inn.

Virtually there! Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

As we speak, you’ll discover a lot of Bear Mountain State Park stays in its pure state, though the lakes had been created between 1920 and 1940 underneath the route of Main W.A. Welch, who was the park’s Basic Supervisor throughout this time.

Curiously, in 1908 Sing Sing virtually created an extension of their jail the place right this moment you discover a enjoying area. Mr. Perkins fought arduous to maintain this from taking place.

On the summit it begins to get crowded, though this gained’t cease you from having fun with the attractive views and museum. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

He additionally fought to avoid wasting The Palisade’s (the basalt rock formation on the west of the Hudson River) from being over-quarried by corporations who needed the rock to assist construct NYC.

Furthermore, in 1919 orphans from NYC had been dropped at the world round Bear Mountain and provided with discounted meals from the Bear Mountain Inn.

Over 100,000 meals had been served in that one 12 months, offered at $4.08 per little one per week.

Principally, from what I might inform this man was a reasonably arise man who undoubtedly deserved to have a memorial tower and path named after him.

I did it! I made it to the Bear Mountain summit! Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

From the highest of the tower, 360-degree views of Bear Mountain State Park and past had been seen, with labeled panoramic photographs underneath every window so guests knew precisely what they had been .

Some noteworthy sights included Anthony’s Nostril Mountain, Manitou Mountain, Annsville Creek, Breakneck Ridge, New York Metropolis, The US Army Academy, and extra.

Trying up on the Perkins Memorial Tower. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

Hessian Lake & Some Odd Observances

Though I used to be a bit drained, I made a decision I wasn’t accomplished taking in Bear Mountain’s magnificence — particularly as I might quickly must return residence to the trash-filled streets, incessant sirens and rumbling over-ground subways of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

I made a decision to do the 1.5-mile (2.4-hectare) loop round Hessian Lake, a simple flat, paved and scenic stroll.

Whereas I bought some stunning lake photographs and actually loved watching the {couples} and households paddling, I observed just a few uncommon issues.

Strolling the trail round Hessian Lake in Bear Mountain. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

First was a girl carrying a child in her arms…whereas pushing a stroller filled with acorns she had collected. I couldn’t assist however surprise if she additionally had a child squirrel to feed again at residence.

One other was a photoshoot happening between three metrosexual guys, who I suppose possibly had been fashions (or at the very least, thought they had been).

The shoot began out regular, a man leaned up towards a tree and had his image taken. However then issues began to progress…shortly.

Subsequent, he was hugging the tree, after which, he kissed the tree. He principally bought to 3rd base with the tree — the entire time having his photograph snapped — earlier than I started blushing, feeling like I used to be watching one thing I shouldn’t be and scurried away.

Steins on the path on Hessian Lake. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

Lastly was all of the hikers carrying big steins filled with beer. What an incredible thought! I assumed to myself.

Why didn’t I consider that?

It took a second earlier than I spotted it was Oktoberfest and Bear Mountain celebrates the vacation annually to the fullest with plenty of native brew choices, artisan tents and barbecuing.

Oh yea, pal and fellow blogger Leif Harum of Runaway Information additionally attests to having seen a nude hiker carrying solely a sombrero final time he was at Bear Mountain. I suppose that man didn’t know what to put on going mountaineering.

For sure, it’s not solely scenic, there are some nice folks watching that may (virtually) rival NYC’s.

There are many benches are Hessian Lake to benefit from the surroundings. Photograph courtesy of Jessie Festa.

Subsequent Time

  • Mt Van Hoevenberg Path
  • Bull Hill Full Loop Hike
  • Mount Marcy Path
  • Breakneck Ridge Hike
  • Big Ledge Hike
  • Overlook Mountain Hike
  • Anthony’s Nostril Hike — which is a few five-minute drive from Bear Mountain!

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