Camp in Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks

Rate this Adventure New York Beaver Pond Campground

  • Activities:

    Camping, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Family Friendly
Forest
Lake

Explore over 51,067 acres of parklands and 235 miles of trails, combined. You can choose to tent camp or spend the night in rustic cabins in this campground.

Between them, neighboring Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks have everything that's needed for an outdoor adventure – the modestly sized Bear Mountain State Park has all the amenities, tucked beneath a looming granite mountain, while the massive Harriman State Park offers inexhaustible trails and seclusion.

Bear Mountain, the more developed of the two, is a great location for picnicking, family friendly activities, and views of the Hudson River. Next door, Harriman State Park has no less than 31 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, three beaches along Lakes Welch, Sebago, and Tiorati, and much more – an unbeatable slice of the Hudson Highlands.

There are four main parking areas, each with access to major hiking trails: Reeves Meadow Visitors Center, Bear Mountain Inn, Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, and Elk Pen Parking Area. From Reeves Meadow Visitors Center, a popular 8.4 mile loop along Pine Meadow Trail will take you to the north shore of Pine Meadow Lake. This hike tends to be crowded, however, even during weekdays.

For a less populated route, get on the Appalachian Trail for a moderate point-to-point hike (5.7 miles roundtrip, 778 ft. elevation gain), starting at the Bear Mountain Inn area. This will take you along the shore of Island Pond, through the well-known Lemon Squeezer (a narrow rock crevice), and past the ruins of a 19th c. iron mine.

Harriman State Park has 140 campsites, whereas Bear Mountain Inn offers 37 rustic cabins, as well as a number of full-service cottages. If lakeside camping sounds good, try the Beaver Ponds Campground on Lake Welch. For more information on reservations at Harriman call (845) 947-2444 or visit Harriman State Park. For Bear Mountain lodgings, visit their website here. To get to Harriman State Park without a car, take Metro-North to Middletown, then a 13 minute cab ride to the park.

Photos: Jiashiang

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Swimsuit
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Food
  • Flashlight
  • Fishing gear (optional)
  • Bike (optional)
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