Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bear Mountain Trail Walk

Bear Mountain State Park,
Rockland and Orange Counties,
New York

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.

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