Rockland and Orange Counties,
Total Time: 2:00 hr
Estimated Distance: 3.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very easy (paved walking)
Level of Interest: Interesting and Recommended for an easy walk.
Points Of Interest: Zoo, view of Bear Mountain Bridge, Scenic Lake Walk
Appalachian Trail (AT): White blaze
1777E Trail: Red blaze
Hessian Lake Loop Path
AT Zoo Bypass Trail: Blue Blaze
Google Map of Parking:
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This is more a walk than a hike, being all on paved paths throughout. But it is especially scenic and also I had originally intended to go on the hike part, and also many of the paved paths are in face hiking trails. Hence I included this together with the hikes on my blog. The weather was very humid and they were predicting thunderstorms. So I opted to do a fairly simple hike. My original intention was to take the Twin Forts Trail underneath the Bear Mountain Bridge, but this trail was closed and locked by a fence, presumably do to the storm predications and the slippery rock that is present on this trail.
I parked in the lower parking area off of Route 9W in Bear Mountain, near the Hudson River Landing. I walked up the path that goes through the zoo, and then walked through the zoo. The zoo actually follows the AT and the 1777E trail throughout its route. Once I realized the Twin Forts Trail was closed, I turned around and headed back, and veered out underneath the Route 9W pedestrian tunnel to Hessian Lake. I walked around Hessian Lake on the path, then came back under the Route 9w tunnel, where I noticed a new blue path immediately after the tunnel on the east side. I blindly followed this short trail as it bypassed the zoo and ended it by the worker parking area for the Bear Mountain Bridge, which made me realize this was a zoo bypass trail for the AT when the zoo is closed. I went the the zoo again, and then took an unmarked trail parallel to the paved path down to the River Landing and back to my car.
|Map of the Route|
|AT Trailhead marker and 1777E Trail terminus marker in middle of the zoo.|
|View of Bear Mountain Bridge and Anthony's Nose.|
|Another view of the Bear Mountain Bridge.|
|Five Lined Skink, one of the only 2 species of lizards in the NY area.|
These seem to be more and more common around lately.