Bear Mountain (Almost at Sunrise)

“Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.”

-George Washington Carver

Every summer I feel the need to torture myself by doing two pretty difficult hikes at least once. The first one is Mt. Beacon and the second is Bear Mt. Today I decided to get Bear Mt. out of the way since the forecast for tomorrow is for the mid 80’s with high humidity. Starting off on the Appalachian Trail by Hessian Lake, the trail begins a grueling ascent immediately. The elevation at this point is 175 feet, but in less than two miles you climb 1,130 feet where you will be at Perkins Memorial Tower that has an elevation of 1305 feet.

Since they rerouted the AT over the last few years and have made significant improvements, although steep, the trail is a pleasure to hike on.


It climbs…


And climbs…


And climbs some more…


It seems like it never ends!

The AT does eventually turn off onto Perkins Memorial Drive. Instead of heading back into the woods, I stayed on the road so I could take some pictures. Part of the reason I was up here in the first place was to catch the sun coming up behind Anthony’s Nose. Unfortunately I missed it by about fifteen minutes!


Iona Island is at the bottom of the picture. The city of Peekskill, NY is in the distance.


The Bear Mt. Bridge and Anthony’s Nose just after sunrise.


Looking north on the Hudson River


Perkins Memorial Drive

Once you get to the top where the tower is located, you will get some amazing views. This one in particular because usually this time of year the haze blocks the NYC skyline.

IMG_6928 (2)

The NYC Skyline


Due to the fact that improvements on the AT have moved closer to Perkins Memorial Tower, they have had to reroute part of the trail until it is completed.


Hessian Lake at the base of Bear Mountain

Summer 2017 Mileage:


10 thoughts on “Bear Mountain (Almost at Sunrise)

  1. Barb Knowles

    As opposed to you, my hike at Bear Mountain was around the lake. Usually it is so beautiful there, but I went with a friend on July 5th and there was so much garbage it was disgusting. And smelled. Then I realized the day before was the 4th and they were going to need a lot of time to clean it up. Why are people so disrespectful of nature? How can you look at such beauty and leave juice bottles and broken grills on the side of, and in the lake? Was it cleaned up when you went?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      It’s funny that you say that because if you look at the picture of the lake, I couldn’t take it from where I was sitting so I moved closer. Why? Because I had to crop the mounds of garbage out of the picture. Now, in their defense, when I was leaving at around 8 am, they had a small army of teenagers going around picking up the trash and trucks picking up the cans of garbage. I went on a Monday so you know the day before it was packed! I will tell you that i have gotten in the habit of picking up trash along the trail. That irritates me the most…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Barb Knowles

        I also saw trucks picking up the garbage but not nearly enough. And I saw literally mounds of garbage. It occurred to me that people (volunteers?) were raking/picking up garbage and leaving it in mounds so the trucks coming by could just pick up the mounds. But there was way too much garbage for the few trucks I saw. When my kids were little, that was a favorite place to take them for running around, picnics, etc. It was never like that. I thought of picking some up myself, especially at the opposite side of the lake where no truck could go down. But I wouldn’t without heavy gloves. I’m not talking about recyclable bottles, but food stuff (biodegradable is fine), packing etc. The problem with even food left around, like watermelon rinds and that sort of thing, is that it attracts wild animals and I try to avoid those when walking at all costs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bel

    I want to hike Bear Mountain – the pictures you took at the too was amazing! Sorry you missed the the stairs heading to the top – it’s an awesome workout.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tobias Mann

    Great photos. It looks like it was a pretty managable hike, well cut and maintained. A lot of the trails I’ve been on lately are dirt tracks where you kind of have to scramble on all fours to get up. Can’t wait to see where you go next.


    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      Thank you! This particular section of the Appalachian Trail is heavily traveled, especially when the park is full on weekends so the wear and tear is real. They have done an incredible amount of work to get it where it is today. Although it is manageable, the climb is pretty intense. Even so, it is all worth it! Thanks again for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s