Sunday, June 12, 2022

Bear Mountain AT Major Welch Loop

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

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

Total Time: 2:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.7 Miles

Pros: Good climb, great views, famous mountain
Cons: Busy area
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Very difficult

Google Maps of Parking:

It had been raining in the morning, and was still cloudy and damp with more rain predicted during the day. However, I noticed from the radar that it wasn't raining and wouldn't rain during the hike, offering a good opportunity for this very busy hike. The weather scared everyone away, and in fact I didn't meet a single person while ascending the Major Welch Trail. This area is usually very busy on weekends in the summer, so was glad to have much of this mountain to myself on this hike. 

The weather was cooler than usual for June, but was very humid, making the climb up on the Major Welch difficult, especially considering my speed on the ascent. I parked at the end of the lookout dead end at Perkins Memorial Drive, and took the Appalachian Trail down Bear Mountain. At the bottom of the mountain I walked alongside Hessian Lake on the Major Welch Trail, and then ascended back up the Major Welch Trail, along the large bedrock slabs, to the top, and then took the Appalachian Trail from the summit and tower back to my car.

Descending the AT

Mountain Laurels

View of The Timp on the AT Descent

Small Waterfalls on the AT

The Hudson River and Peekskill in the Distance

Bear Mountain Bridge

Informational Trail Signs at the Descent of the AT

Hessian Lake

Beetles Strategically Rolling a Ball

Major Welch Trail Begin of the Rock Scramble

Bear Mountain Tower

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