Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bear Mountain Bridge, Zoo, and Hessian Lake

Bear Mountain State Park
Westchester/Rockland/Orange Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Major Welch Trail: Red blaze
1777 W Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.1 Miles

Pros: Great views
Cons: Very busy area

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

I had really hurt myself earlier in the week while climbing down Bear Mountain. I could not do a big hike or any elevation changes, so I opted for something easy, flat, and paved. We drove over the Bear Mountain Bridge and parked on the eastern side at the end of the bridge, on the corner of Route 9D. We walked along the north path of the bridge, which is concurrent with the Appalachian Trail and the point where this trail crosses the Hudson River. After crossing the bridge from Westchester into Rockland, we went though the Bear Mountain Zoo, which also trails along the Appalachian Trail, combined with the 1777 W Trail. We took the detour to Fort Clinton, and took the spur by the bear den to the view in the zoo. We then took the trail to the end of the zoo, walked to Hessian Lake, and looped around its southern end to the trail on the west side, which is along the Major Welch Trail. We then continued around the north side of Hessian Lake, going into Orange county, and then cut across on the grass to Route 9W, which we crossed. We then went along the southern walkway of Bear Mountain Bridge and went back to our car.

Map of the Route

Approaching Bear Mountain Bridge in Westchester

Plaque at the Bridge

Looking Across the Hudson River a the Popolopen Bridge

Looking North a the Hudson River and Metro North Line

Looking North with a Trail in View

Shimmy Midspan

The Three Popopopen Bridges

Hudson River, Facing North

Me on the Bear Mountain Bridge

On the Bridge, with Anthony's Nose Behind Me

Me on the Bridge

The Historical Toll Booth

Me at an Appalachian Trail Plaque, with a Long Distance Hiker to my Left

Cactus Grove Growing in the Zoo

Swans in the Pond in the Zoo

Fort Clinton, in Bear Mountain Zoo

View from Bear Mountain Zoo of the Notch in the Hudson River

Notch Between Manitou and Dunderberg Mountains

Bear Mountain Bridge and Anthony's Nose

North Shore of Hessian Lake, Facing South Toward Dunderberg

View from the Bridge of the Hudson River, Facing South

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