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What Is Bear Mountain State Park?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated: May 17, 2024

People who would like to enjoy nature and partake in outdoor recreation may want to visit Bear Mountain State Park. This state park is located in southeastern New York, and lies partly in Orange and Rockland counties. It consists of over 5,000 acres of woodlands, mountain terrain, and open field, much of which is along the Hudson River. Visitors to this park can enjoy a number of outdoor activities like boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycling.

Bear Mountain State Park has many attractions, and some of these are a trailside museum and zoo, merry-go-round, and boat rentals. There is a swimming pool, which is open during the summer months, and an ice skating rink that can be used during the winter. A restaurant and gift shop are located at this state park, both of which are wheelchair-accessible. Perkins memorial drive takes visitors to the summit of Bear Mountain, and people who climb the tower there can see four states as well as the skyline of Manhattan.

This New York park is open year-round, and the hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset each day. The hours of some of the attractions vary by season, while others are closed during the winter months. For example, the merry-go-round operates only on weekends and holidays from September through March, while Perkins Memorial Drive and Tower are closed from December through April each year. The trailside museum and zoo are open year-round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year.

People who would like to stay at Bear Mountain State Park can choose from stone cottages or rooms at the Overlook Lodge. All accommodations have kitchenettes with microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker. Other amenities include high-speed Internet access, computer workstations, cable television, telephone, ironing board, and iron. These rooms are decorated in a rustic theme, which includes quilted linens and oak furniture throughout. There may be two double beds or one king bed in each room; roll-away beds are available upon request.

Autumn is a busy season at Bear Mountain State Park, as people from all over the United States and Canada come here to view the fall foliage. For this reason, it can sometimes be difficult to reserve a room at the state park during that time. People who are planning a visit to this New York retreat may want to plan several months in advance in order to make sure they are able to take advantage of the scenery and recreation offered here.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Ivan83 — On Apr 07, 2012
How far is this park from NYC? Would it make for a suitable day trip?
By whiteplane — On Apr 06, 2012

I think that Bear State Park is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy all the natural splendor of the Hudson. Many people only know the Hudson from the places where it winds through cities. This view would give you the impression that it is full of barges and industrial waste. But once you get into the country the river is really quite beautiful.

By nextcorrea — On Apr 06, 2012

Every fall my family would drive to Bear State Park to get a look at all the beautiful changing leaves. You honestly feel like you are in a painting. The trees are so densely packed and all of them change into most beautiful yellows oranges and browns that you have ever seen.

I live in southern California now and we have no autumn to speak of. We definitely don't have oceans of fall colors. I like the weather out here but I really miss the way the seasons change back east.

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