• Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Distance: 4.2 round trip. 1480 ft elevation gain. Panoramic views (NYC Skyline on a clear day). Multiple lake views. Rhododendron tunnel.

Bearfort Mountain is a great weekend morning hike that borders NJ and NY. Parking can be tricky as the entrance to the lot looks like it is Greenwood Lake Marina's boat storage area. Once parked, find the trail entrance at the top of the little hill and continue to the blue on white marked trail. As the trail steeply climbs (1,200-1,250ft in 0.8 miles), be on the look out for the Ernest Walker Trail on the left (Yellow markers on trees or rocks). From here the trail brings you up the rock ridge-line with awesome views to the summit. On clear days you can get a glimpse of the NYC skyline.

After taking in the views continue to follow the Yellow marked trail into the forest where after about a half mile Surprise Lake appears. This is a great place for lunch or a short snack/hydration break. Periodically you will get planes that fly low over the lake making for a great photo op.

Continuing to follow the Yellow marked trail, you will enter the rhododendron tunnel that will then lead you down a tight short passageway. Note, some of the Yellow paint on the trail has been very worn down so make sure you are always on the lookout for the next marker

Be on the lookout for a section where the trail forks. You ultimately will want to go left but follow the little footpath right for a nice cliff overlooking another lake. Follow that footpath back to the fork and continue on. After the short decline you will come to an area that can be pretty wet depending on the season you are hiking.

Finally, the Yellow Trail will meet back up with the Blue over White Trail, turn to the right to take it all the way back down to the parking lot. You will go down the steep hill you came up originally.

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Hiking Boots (swamp area depending on season)
  • Hydration Pack or Water Bottles
  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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Really enjoyed this hike! The beginning is pretty steep as is the ending but as long as you take it slow there should be no problems. The views of greenwood lake are wonderful! There are multiple entrances to the surprise lake and thus many places to swim for a little bit. Some of the other people in the area don't give it the respect it deserves for we were surprised by the amount of people smoking and leaving cigarettes by the lake but that was later in the day. Going early in the morning ensures having the whole lake to yourself and friends!

6 months ago
6 months ago

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