Bear Mountain State Park
|Description: Bear Mountain State Park is situated in rugged mountains rising above the
Hudson River, about 45 miles north of New York City. From the mountain’s
summit, you can see adjoining Harriman State Park, the state’s second-largest
park, with 31 lakes and reservoirs.|
From September through November, many species of migrating hawks can
be seen above Bear Mountain. Most of the Iona Island/Doodletown Bird
Conservation Area is within Bear Mountain State Park, where visitors can see
marsh birds, waterfowl, warblers and shorebirds.
Wildlife to Watch: Bald eagles can be seen soaring above the highlands of Bear Mountain year round.
Overwintering eagles concentrate along the Hudson when inland lakes
are frozen. Migrating raptors include ospreys, northern harriers, Cooper’s
hawks, northern goshawks, and black and turkey vultures.
An array of waterfowl and shorebirds may be viewed at Iona Marsh. Huge
snapping turtles ply marsh canals in spring and early summer, while kingfishers
dive after schools of minnows. In forested uplands, cerulean and hooded
warblers are common resident nesters. You may also see a Kentucky warbler, a
rarity in New York.
At Harriman, white-tailed deer are often seen in the forest, while signs of beavers
can be found in the streams. Perhaps you’ll spot elusive northern river
otters or an occasional coyote.
Special Tips: The Bear Mountain-Harriman trail system is a 200-mile web of paths, trails
and old roads for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. Perkins Memorial
Tower atop Bear Mountain affords spectacular views, and there is a wildlife
viewing platform along the edge of Iona Marsh.
Bear Mountain: 845-786-2701, 3006 Seven Lakes Drive, Bear
Mountain, NY 10911, www.nysparks.com
Other Activities: Bear Mountain State Park has some accessible features, including trails
and boat rentals.
Ownership: Palisades Interstate Park Commission
Size: 5,000 acres
Closest Town: Fort Montgomery
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: