Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bear Mountain Major Welch

Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland and Orange Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Major Welch Trail: Redblaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time:
2:00 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Excellent Climb, Amazing Views, Famous Mountain

Hiking Partner:
Yehuda Koblick

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

It was a brutally hot and humid day in August, and not a day to climb over 1000 in elevation. But this was my opportunity to take off the afternoon from work and hike one of my regional favorite hikes - the Major Welch Trail. Due to the steep yet smooth rocky outcrops, I usually hike down this trail rather than up, but Yehuda and I both needed a good working, so we took the steep Major Welch Trail up the mountain this time. We parked in the main Bear Mountain area (note: there is usually an $8 fee to park here), walked along the path along the west sure of Hessian Lake on the Major Welch, and then climbed the mountain on this trail on its northern side. We had a very difficult time climbing this trail due to the extreme heat and humidity.

As the trail evens out at the plateau-like top of the mountain, the trail had been recently refurbished with a gravel footing. A new trail with blue blazings has been routed on the top, and it forms part of the old Appalachian Trail which has also been rerouted along the top on the western side. I have to come back and explore this new trail. At the top we took a short break at the view, and then headed down. We took the newly created steps down, where we were graced with the annual antique car show which is every Wednesday evening in the late July and August. It's well worth a visit.

Map of the Route

Ascending Along the Major Welch Trail
on a Large Exposed Rock Face Climb

Popolopen Torne While Ascending Along the Major Welch

Bear Mountain Bridge and Anthony's Nose From the Major Welch Lookout

Looking North from the Major Welch Lookout

Yehuda Along the New Portion of the Trail on Top with a New Bridge

Trail Junction and New Blue Trail Signage on Top

Yehuda at the Summit Tower
Me at the Summit View. Facing Southwest.

View from the Summit, Facing South Towards West Mnt and Bald Mnt.

View from Summit Facing southeast toward Dunderberg Mnt

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