Our drive to Bear Mountain was beautiful. We have never visited this spot before so we weren’t sure what to expect. We had a late start to our day and arrived at approximately 12:30 PM, so the parking lots were already pretty packed. We started off in what we hoped was the right direction. We picked up a trail map from the Bear Mountain State Park Office.
This hike was amusing to say the least. We went in with a game plan and ended up having to throw it to the side and think on our feet. Originally we planned on tackling the Major Welch trail. It is supposed to be a loop, so that we could end up where we began. We completely missed the entrance to this trail and walked halfway around the lake before we thought… maybe we should turn around. After finding the start of the trail we began the hike. We quickly learned that the accession to the top of the trail would be a steep one. We gladly accepted the challenge. Everything was going smoothly till we reached this near vertical climb up a rock face with no trail markers to hint that yes in fact we were supposed to climb our way to the top. Luckily for us, we caught a glimpse of people moving up top so we started the climb. It was exhilarating. The views from this climb was worth every step. We took a seat at about three quarters of the way up so that we could really take it in.
After about five minutes we packed up and continued the hike following the white trail markers with a red circle on them. At one point we had to cross over a road that bisected our trail. From this point on the hike to the top was only about a quarter mile up. When we made it to the top, we got a bit lost again. What we originally thought was that the trail we were on would continue and lead us down a different pathway down the mountain. But we couldn’t find any more of our markers. We figured that the loop of this trail simply would be to go down the way we came up and since we already made the trip up that way we would explore a little and see if we could find an alternate way down.
Thankfully there was a trail map by the Tower overlook, so we were able to find our new route down. We followed the solid white trail markers for the Appalachian trail to get back to the base of the mountain. Part of this trail required us to walk along side a road. Once the trail dipped back into the forest our descent was quick but still beautiful. There were more hikers on this trail than on the trail we were originally on. When we got to the base we considered going pedal boating since they had a station set up for it but by the time we got there they were closing up so unfortunately we weren’t able to do it. Nonetheless, it was a great day overall and we plan to return and check out their other trails.
Almost forgot to mention my favorite part. Check out these stone pathways they had set up throughout the trails. I’m sure these are commonly found in other hiking trails but I am a sucker for their aesthetic. Also check out this short video of some of our hike 🙂