Offering panoramic views from all sides, Bear Mountain Loop Trail is a very scenic and challenging hike. The trail is located near Bear Mountain, New York. It’s a 6.3 kilometer out and back trail with a total elevation gain of 349 m.
The trail offers amazing views and you will surely be mesmerized. This is the reason why it’s extremely popular and its parking area is often crowded. When you get to the top of the mountain, there will probably be a lot of people. To avoid heavy crowds and get a decent parking spot, you should either hike very early or on weekdays. This way, you can enjoy the hike even more and you won’t be among people, who miss hiking this trail just because they didn’t get a parking spot.
You will also have to pay a fee. For about three months, you have to pay a fee every day, while for the remaining months, you only need to pay on weekdays. If you have an Empire pass, you don’t need to pay any fee.
Even though it’s a relatively shorter hike, it has a lot to offer in terms of views and challenges. You won’t exactly be rock-climbing, but it’s different than a normal hike and you will have to use your hands at some spots.
Located near Hessian Lake, the trail takes you to the Perkins Memorial Tower. It’s a brilliant destination for a day trip. The hike begins from the Carousel in the main Bear Mountain parking lot and you will have to hike north along the Major Welch Trail around Hessian Lake. When you reach the other end of the lake, you will get to the Major Welch Trail from where the hike begins to ascend. You will start getting views of the Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge.
When you pass through the rough trail and climb through the news steps, you will come across several exposed rock faces. If you have appropriate shoes, you might just be able to climb without the use of hands, but a little extra caution here is recommended. Soon, you will cross Perkins Memorial Drive and reach the top of the mountain.