5 Reasons to Plan a Summer Getaway to Bear Mountain, New York

A wild weekend escape from New York City.

Spring is in the air, which means that summer is just around the corner. Dreaming of an adventurous getaway from New York City? Look no further than Bear Mountain, a wild escape from the city that is a mere 45 miles from Manhattan.

Bear Mountain State Park and the nearby towns along the Hudson River are full of unique spots to explore and relax. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in and near Bear Mountain.

1. Stay in the historic Bear Mountain Inn

Photo courtesy of the Bear Mountain Inn

When the Bear Mountain Inn first opened in 1915, The American Architect called it one of the "finest examples of rustic Adirondack architecture in America." Today, it's just as beautiful as it was over a hundred years ago. 

Located within Bear Mountain State Park, and right along the Appalachian Trail, you can book yourself into one of the 15 deluxe guest rooms and suites in the Bear Mountain Inn, one of the 24 standard guest rooms in the nearby Overlook Lodge, or one of the cozy Stone Cottages.

No matter which spot you choose to stay, you'll be right in the middle of the action.

2. Hike the Appalachian Trail

Photo by Brittany Ann Cool

If you're staying at the Bear Mountain Inn, the Appalachian Trail couldn't be any closer...literally. Step out of the Inn, walk a few steps toward Hessian Lake, and there you are. Head south and hike to the Perkins Memorial Tower, or drive across the Hudson River and head to the panoramic viewpoint at Anthony's Nose.

3. Swim in the Bear Mountain Pool

Photo courtesy of the Bear Mountain Inn

The Bear Mountain pool is a public swimming area that is worth the drive from NYC on its own. The clear waters of the pool, which is nestled into the forested parklands, make for an idyllic — and refreshing — experience during a hot New York summer.

4. Canoe Iona Island

Photo courtesy of the Bear Mountain Inn

Iona Island National Estuarine Sanctuary and Research Reserve is one of the largest tidal wetlands along the Hudson River, and a spectacular place for spotting birds, fish, and small aquatic mammals. 

While the Sanctuary does not allow for public canoeing or kayaking within the marshes, they do offer free educational canoe trips throughout the summer. All gear is provided. Be sure to reserve your spot in advance!

5. Visit the Trailside Museums

Photo by Shinya Suzuki

Inside Bear Mountain State Park, there are four museums that together make up the Trailside Museums and Zoo. Housed in the quaint buildings made of native granite you'll find a Herpetology House, the Nature Study Museum, Geology Museum, and the History Museum. See native wildlife like black bears, woodchuck, red fox, eastern coyote, and beaver. When you're done, be sure to explore the winding paths that weave through the state park itself.

Cover photo by Shaun O'NeillHike the Appalachian Trail to Anthony's Nose

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Sara SheehyAdmin

Writer | Nomad