Sunday, June 10, 2018

Bear Mountain Appalachian Trail/Major Welch Loop

Bear Mountain State Park,
Rockland/Orange Co.,
New York

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

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.7 Miles

Pros: Good scramble with great views
Cons: Extremely busy on weekends

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi and Joseph Friedman

I had not been here in some time, and the Major Welch Trail up Bear Mountain is one of my favorite trails in the region. We parked at the dead end circle on Perkins Memorial Drive after the scenic area past the tower. We took the Appalachian Trail down the steps portion, past the waterfall (which was dry), the view, and down to Hessian Lake. We then took the Major Welch Trail along the busy path on the western side of the lake, and the then ascending up the Major Welch Trail along the steep rocky portion. We took the trail to the summit, climbed the tower, and then took the Appalachian Trail down to our car.

Map of the Route

Me on a Log on the Appalachian Trail

Flowering Mountain Laurels

Mountain Laurels at the First View

Me at the View on the Appalachian Trail
Facing Southeast towards the Hudson River

Iona Island, the Hudson River, and Peekskill from the View

Hessian Lake, Facing North

Anthony's Nose and Hessian Lake from Bear Mountain Foot

Flowers along the Trail

Ascending the Large Rock on the Major Welch Trail

View Ascending the Major Welch Trail. Facing North.

Mountain Laurels on the Appalachian Trail

View along the Major Welch Trail, Facing North

At the View, Facing North Towards Brooks Lake

Me on the Major Welch Trail

On the Major Welch Trail near the Summit

View of the Hudson from the view where the Trail hits the Road


  1. Challenging trail to go DOWN, due to it being ?-70%ish. rockface. Must do it sideways,have rubber bottoms, and poles.

  2. Near impossible in the rain due to it being almost all sheer steep rock side.