Bear Mountain - Perkins Memorial Tower and Zoo (Accessible)
Duration: 3-5 Hours
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Distance: 2-6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 250 - 1300ft.
When Perkins Memorial Drive is open, usually from April - November, (CURRENTLY CLOSED) this hike starts at the Perkins Memorial Tower, atop Bear Mountain, with sweeping views of the Hudson Valley below. We'll walk 1.3 miles along one of the few sections of the Appalachian Trail that was built with wide, fine-crushed stone, and limited inclines, creating a beautiful and fully accessible trail. The trail leads to another stunning viewpoint and loops back to the starting point. The short walk will be followed by a scenic drive down Perkins Memorial Drive to the Inn, where we'll meet back up with the Appalachian Trail.
When Perkins Memorial Drive is closed, the starting point is at the Bear Mountain Inn. There is a nice lake to walk around on a paved path, and a new outdoor exhibit about trail building. There are picnic tables, vending machines, and restrooms at the lake.
You'll have the option to climb a steep trail, with a short rock scramble to the summit of Bear Mountain and loop around, descending the professionally built section of the Appalachian Trail on stone steps built into the natural rocks.
Next, or alternatively if you are looking for an easier hike, we'll continue north along this unique section of the Appalachian trail on a paved walkway, taking frequent breaks to visit the trailside zoo and museum exhibits. At the north end of the zoo, is a view of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain Bridge and Hudson Highlands, with a telescope to get a closer look at the surrounding area.
If time permits, there is the option to extend the hike to historic fort Montgomery, or over the Bear Mountain Bridge.
If you're looking for other activities after the tour, the Bear Mountain Inn also has a restaurant (CURRENTLY CLOSED), spa, gift shop, merry-go-round, paddleboat rentals on the lake, outdoor ice skating rink, and more!
Meeting Location: Bear Mountain Inn
3020 Seven Lakes Drive, Tomkins Cove, NY 10986
Summer Meeting Location: Perkins Memorial Tower
Bear Mountain State Park, Perkins Memorial Dr, Stony Point, NY 10980
There is a $10 per vehicle parking fee.
There is no cell phone service at some meeting locations.
Guided Day Hikes Include:
What to Bring:
*Return times are best estimates, and can vary based on the speed and fitness level of the group.
*Perkins Memorial Drive and Tower are closed from December 1st through April 1st, however the Zoo and hiking trails are open year round.
**PERKINS MEMORIAL DRIVE REMAINS CLOSED AS OF SPRING 2021 - PARKING LOTS HAVE BEEN FULL ON WEEKENDS. BEST TO VISIT DURING THE WEEK AND/OR EARLY MORNINGS!**