Bear Mountain State Park, Orange & Rockland Counties, NY

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.

Panorama of Bear Mountain (left) and Anthony's Nose (right), Bear Mountain State Park, NY

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.

Rocks beside Major Welch Trail, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Rocks beside Major Welch Trail

Major Welch Trail, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Major Welch Trail

11:48 a.m.: The trail left the paved path and moved northwest into the woods.

Climbing Bear Mountain, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Climbing Bear Mountain

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.

Scrambling on bare rock, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Scrambling on bare rock

Views toward the east:

Scenic view, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Scenic view

Scenic view, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Scenic view

Scenic view, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Scenic view

Scenic view, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Scenic view

12:19 p.m.: A stitched panorama.

Panoramic view, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Panoramic view

Here’s a shot in which you can see the Bear Mountain Bridge.

Bear Mountain Bridge, seen from Bear Mountain, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

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!

Bear Mountain Bridge, seen from Bear Mountain, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Closeup of Bear Mountain Bridge

Hudson River, from Bear Mountain, NY

Hudson River

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.

Deer

Deer

Deer

Deer

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.

Perkins Memorial Tower, Bear Mountain, NY

Perkins Memorial Tower

A view from the top:

View from Top of Bear Mountain, NY

Scenic view

1:23 p.m.: We began our descent on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, and I spotted a neat tree trunk.

Tree trunk, Bear Mountain, NY

Tree trunk

Descending Bear Mountain, NY

Descending Bear Mountain

2:04 p.m.: Getting closer to the Hudson, and the barbecue.

Hudson River, from Bear Mountain, NY

Hudson River

2:12 p.m.: Continuing our descent.

Descending Bear Mountain, NY

Descending

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.

Anthony's Nose, seen from Bear Mountain State Park, NY

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.

Jeanette Kesten, on a Hike in 1924

Jeanette Kesten (lower left), hiking with friends in 1928

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