The Jewish Outdoor Club had a day of hiking and barbecue to celebrate Lag B’Omer. This was my first visit to Bear Mountain, though I have photos of my grandmother visiting here decades ago. There is a large lawn near the parking lot, where we gathered and played Frisbee.
In this stitched panorama, on the right is the 900′ Anthony’s Nose, in Westchester county, on the east side of the Hudson. (The Bear Mountain Bridge lands there after crossing the Hudson.) On the left is the Bear Mountain, which I would soon be climbing.
A number of hikes were offered, for all skill levels. I would have signed up for the most strenuous, but I heard that in the past that group returned late and missed part of the barbecue. [I don’t think they had that problem this year.] So I instead took a moderate-strenuous hike, which led to the top of Bear Mountain and back.
11:30 a.m.: We began hiking on the red-blazed Major Welch trail, walking north on a paved path along Hessian Lake.
11:48 a.m.: The trail left the paved path and moved northwest into the woods.
12:13 p.m.: We had gained about 220′ elevation, from 180′ to 400′, with only a slight grade. Now, however, the trail turned southwest and became steeper, climbing steadily, frequently on bare rack slabs.
Views toward the east:
12:19 p.m.: A stitched panorama.
Here’s a shot in which you can see the Bear Mountain Bridge.
Here’s a close-up of the bridge. We drove across the bridge both coming and going. It is very scenic, and only costs $1. My stupid GPS would have routed me over the George Washington Bridge and through New Jersey. I prefer driving north through the Bronx and then crossing over either the Tappan Zee, or in this case, the Bear Mountain Bridge, which was both a delight and a bargain. The Bear Mountain Bridge was completed in 1924, and for 19 months was the longest suspension bridge in the world!
12:48 p.m.: Around 1200′ in elevation, the grade became less steep. Here we found a deer, standing patiently as we snapped its photo.
1:00 p.m.: Made it to the toop of Bear Mtn, at 1284′. This is Perkins Memorial Tower, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
A view from the top:
1:23 p.m.: We began our descent on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, and I spotted a neat tree trunk.
2:04 p.m.: Getting closer to the Hudson, and the barbecue.
2:12 p.m.: Continuing our descent.
This was only about a 3-mile hike, and not very strenuous. The sky was overcast, as you can see. Still, the temperature was nice, it didn’t rain, the company was nice and the barbecue was very good.
Here’s another shot from the lawn, toward the Hudson and the Bear Mountain Bridge (which can’t be seen) and Anthony’s Nose.
Here’s a photo of my grandmother, may she rest in peace, on a hike in 1928. She’s at the lower left, with three friends. This was quite possibly taken at Bear Mountain.