Suffern-Bear Mountain (SBM) Trail: Yellow blaze
Total Time: 1:30 Hours
Estimated Distance: 2.5 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Rocky climb and Excellent Views
Cons: Highway traffic and built up area, trash and graffiti
Nordkop Mountain juts up out of Suffern and has two excellent views of the area. I have hiked up Nordkop Mountain many times, and have noticed that the true summit is further north on a rocky promenade. I had been meaning to go there and check out the true summit for quite some time, but never got around to it.
We parked on Chestnut Street in Suffern right before Route 202 (there is a 2 hour streetside parking available here), and walked along Route 202 to Route 59, underneath the wide Thruway/I-287 overpass. The Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail starts shortly after on the right side off the sidewalk. We started the rocky climb up, but instead of going straight on the SBM Trail, we veered towards the left northward, climbing the mountain over large rocks and scrambling up. We noticed that there is an unofficial route marked by pink strings climbing the mountain, and we took this path to the summit. We passed the gas pipeline, and afterwards a steep rocky incline towards the summit. There is an excellent view here, but unfortunately it is covered in graffiti.
We then went past the summit and veered east, bushwacking easy terrain for a short distance to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. We then went on the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail back down the mountain, passing the two viewpoints along the way. The higher viewpoint is terribly filthy, littered with trash and fouled by graffiti. We continued down along the trail to its terminus at Route 59, and then walked along the road back to our car.
|Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Southern Map
|SB (Suffern Bear-Mountain) Mosaic at the Trailhead
|Me Ascending the Mountain
|Me on a Rock Face Climbing the Mountain
|Large Ugly Grub Along the Trail
|View from the Summit, Looking South
|View Looking South, with Franklin Turnpike in View
|Thruway and I-287 Overpass with the Sheraton Crossroads
|Zoomed into Hillburn
|View from the Summit Looking Northwest
|Flowers in Bloom
|Me on the Summit Rock at the Highest Elevation
|Me at the the Nordkop View on the S-BM Trail
|Suffern Train Station, Franklin Turnpike, and Manhattan Skyline
|Good Samaritan Hospital
|I-287 and Route 17 Split in New Jersey
|Shimmy Along the Lower Nordkop View