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NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

Outdoor Discovery

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

RestroomsParkingTent CampingFishingCross Country SkiingHikingPicnic tablesVisitor CenterHandicap AccessibleSmall BoatsDrinking WaterBicycling

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Bear Mountain - Photo by John Rozell
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
Bear Mountain: From the NYS Thruway south/I-87, take exit 17 for I-84. Keep right at the fork to I-84 east. Take exit 10 for US 9W south/NY 32 south. Turn right onto N. Robinson Ave. Continue onto US 9W south/Quassaick Ave. After 15.8 miles, continue onto US 202 west/US 9W south. Turn right onto Seven Lakes Drive.

From the NYS Thruway north/I-87, take exit 20 toward I-287/ Tappan Zee Bridge. After 10.5 miles, take exit 13N for Palisades Pkwy. north. Continue onto US 6 east. At the traffic circle, take US 202 west/US 9W south. Follow directions above.

Map Link

Bear Mountain State Park : Wildlife Viewing Area