Hiking Bear Mountain
We've been in NYC for a while now, and we figured it was time to venture out a bit to see what the state has to offer aside from the metropolis that tourists tend to flock to. Although we did not go very far, I was absolutely in awe of the beauty we were surrounded by when we were dropped off by the Short Line Bus at Bear Mountain Inn.
Before we began the hike, we decided to take a walk around the lake in search of the zoo, which we completely missed since we were preoccupied with the colorful views.
We were told that we should hike up the trail with the red markers and come down the path marked with the white markers. So up we went at a brisk pace at first as the trails were relatively easy (as seen in the photo above), but it became increasingly rockier the higher up we went. We were really thankful to have been wearing the proper footwear for this hike.
Right before we made it to the top of Bear Mountain, there was a rest spot with sweeping views of the Hudson.
A sea of red with huge stone slabs greeted us at the very top. We chose one of the stones and spread out our goodies for a picnic. What we really wish we brought were some beers because those would have been super refreshing after an unexpectedly strenuous climb.
When we walked a little farther at the top of Bear Mountain, we realized that you can actually drive up there. So of course, there was a section where there were a ton of tourists. And this section included the tower with spectacular views of the surrounding land. It was so clear we could see New York City, but nature certainly stole the show. These rolling hills as far as we could see went above and beyond our expectations!
On the way down, the hike was a lot easier, and I couldn't help but feel a bit relieved as I watched all the people trudge their way up (the women I saw wearing stiletto heels were probably rethinking their footwear choices that morning).
- To get to Bear Mountain via public transportation, take the Short Line coach bus from Penn Station. It takes you directly to Bear Mountain Inn, whereas taking a train will drop you off far away. If you purchase the bus tickets online, be sure to show up at Penn Station at least 45 minutes early so that you can wait in the gargantuan snaking line to actually pick up your bus ticket. Just having the printout showing you purchased the ticket without the physical ticket is useless.
- I would try to get there as early as possible because at the end of our hike, it seemed like there was a flood of people at the base of the mountain getting ready to attempt the hike.
- Use the restroom at Bear Mountain Inn before the hike.
- Pack a picnic for when you arrive at the top.
- Where comfortable sneakers or hiking boots.
- It's a lot easier to go up following the red markers and then come down the white markers. Considering the rocky and steep climb up the red marker path, I certainly would not want to come back down that way!