Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks
- Reeves Meadow Visitors Center: From NY 17 in Sloatsburg take Seven Lakes Drive 1.4 miles. GPS: 41.174182, -74.168434
- Bear Mountain Inn: From the Palisades Interstate Parkway [north or south], get off at exit 19 [Bear Mtn. Park] and take Seven Lakes Drive for 3½ miles to the Bear Mountain Circle. At the circle, take the second right. Follow the signs to Parking Lots. If you miss exit 19, take the Parkway to the Bear Mountain Bridge Circle. At this circle, make the first right onto 9W south and go to the traffic light. Bear right and go up the hill. Parking fees apply. GPS: 41.312055, -73.988693
- Anthony Wayne Recreation Area: From the Palisades Interstate Parkway, take Exit 17. GPS: 41.297022, -74.027669
- Elk Pen Parking Area: Take Route 17 north through Southfields, NY, turn right [east] onto Arden Valley Road, pass over the NY State Thruway [no access], then turn right on Elk Pen Road. From Route 17 south, Arden Valley Road is two miles south of the Harriman train station. [Google Maps: "Rt 17 and Arden Valley Road, NY 10975" The satellite view will show the parking area.] GPS: 41.265345, -74.153499
- Public transportation: Short Line buses from the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal to the Bear Mountain Inn also stop, if requested, along US 9W at Tomkins Cove and Jones Point. Short Line buses and Metro-North trains to Suffern, Sloatsburg, Tuxedo, Southfields, Arden, and Harriman give access to trails on the west side of the parks.
Sloatsburg, Tuxedo, Southfields, Arden, and Harriman give access to trails on the west side of the parks. Short Line buses to the Bear Mountain Inn also stop, if requested, along US 9W at Tomkins Cove and Jones Point.
Metro-North's Port Jervis Line from Hoboken to Suffern, Sloatsburg, Tuxedo, Southfields, Arden, and Harriman give access to trails on the west side of the parks.
With nearly 52,000 acres of mostly forested landscape and hundreds of miles of trails--including the Appalachian Trail--Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks offer a rich hiking resource close to New York City.
With more than 235 miles of trails, approximately fifty marked trails, and three-dozen plus woods trails not to mention unmarked trails, it seems best to feature just a few major trail access points with parking areas.
- Reeves Meadow Visitors Center: One of the most popular trails in the park, the Pine Meadow Trail [5.5 miles; red on white] leads to the north shore of Pine Meadow Lake. An 0.2-mile hike east from the parking area towards Sloatsburg on Pine Meadow Trail connects to Seven Hills Trail [blue dot on white]; 300 feet west of the visitors center on Pine Meadow Trail is the trailhead [on the right] of the Reeves Brook Trail [white].
- Bear Mountain Inn: The large parking area [though it often fills up in good weather, or on special holidays] is an access point to several trails, including the Appalachian [white], Anthony Wayne [2.8 miles, white], 1777E [red "1777" on white], Suffern-Bear Mountain [23.5 miles, yellow], and Cornell Mine Trails [2.5 miles, blue]. Also the Twin Forts Trail, a short path connecting the sites of the historic Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery [including the modest Fort Montgomery visitor center] and also leading to the Timp-Torne [11.2 miles, blue] and Popolopen Gorge trails [4.5 miles, red on white].
- Anthony Wayne Recreation Area: The mid-point of the Anthony Wayne Trail [2.8 miles; white] forms a loop with the Popolopen Gorge Trail [red on white] at Turkey Hill Lake and the Timp-Torne Trail [blue] on the west end of West Mountain.
- Elk Pen Parking Area: On the western side of the park, there is access to the Appalachian Trail, Arden-Surebridge Trail [6.3 miles, red triangle on white] and Island Pond.
The Appalachian Trail [18.0 miles, white] traverses the northern section of the park, extending from the Bear Mountain Bridge at the Hudson River west to NY 17. On the way, it intersects or runs jointly with eleven other marked trails, and it can be combined with these trails to make a variety of loop hikes.
This section of the Appalachian Trail in the park was the first of the 2,190-mile-long A.T. to be completed, and much of it still follows the original route. Improvements have been to the A.T. on Bear Mountain, which is the focal point of a multi-year, multi-agency trail building and rehabilitation project being led by the Trail Conference. Learn more about the Bear Mountain Trails Project.
- Before proceeding west on the A.T. from Bear Mountain Inn, hikers may wish to follow the trail east, through a pedestrian tunnel under US 9W, into the Trailside Museum and Zoo, which features native plants, animals, reptiles and birds. A sign on the A.T. as it passes through the museum marks the lowest point on the entire trail from Maine to Georgia - 124 feet above sea level.
- Both ends of the trail in the park are readily accessible. See "Let's Go/Directions to Trailhead" to either Bear Mountain Inn or Elk Pen Parking Area.
Doodletown near Bear Mountain, an isolated hamlet surviving for 200 years but a ghost town since the mid-1960s, is a popular destination for hikers. Click for more information
Check out MyHarriman.com for an informed personal blog with a local perspective about this vast park.
Hunting is allowed in season in the section of the park west of NY Route 17.
For detailed descriptions of many hikes in Harriman-Bear Mountain click here.
Harriman-Bear Mountain Parks
The variety of trails looping across the rugged landscape, draped upon the Highlands, is a major part of the appeal of Harriman-Bear Mountain Parks. Covering nearly 52,000 acres, this network of practically infinite trail combinations is unmatched in the area surrounding metropolitan New York. The hiker may choose to climb through the crevices of the Lemon Squeezer, savor the views of the Hudson from high on Dunderberg Mountain, or ramble on old woods roads past sleepy swamps and abandoned mining villages. The Bear Mountain Inn area is itself a destination for many families to enjoy its numerous attractions, including access to several hiking trails.
For a history of the park and a complete guide to marked and unmarked trails, see Harriman Trails: A Guide and History, by William Myles [New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, 4th ed. 2018].