Exit And Explore The Appalachian Trail At Bear Mountain Bridge NY
Have you ever driven on Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River? How about walking it? Unforgettable. Aaaaand, it’s a great way to stretch your legs when you’re on a tedious busy busy NY road trip.
Bonus? You can stake your claim to a hike on the Appalachian Trail, ‘cos it goes right over the bridge. So, here we go so you can Exit and Explore and experience the whole shebang first hand.
A word of caution in advance: the exiting aspect is up to you. Muddy Boots doesn’t do New York traffic. Walking 1000 miles to get there? No biggie.
You’ll want to leave your car at Bear Mountain State Park before heading over the bridge. Perhaps investigating the entrance fee in advance would be a capital idea.
Where is Bear Mountain Bridge, more or less?
Bear Mountain Bridge is nearish to West Point. You might even hear cannons fire as the cadets practice making impressive noises. If you were looking at it from the heights of Bear Mountain State Park, it would look like the photo up top.
What’s so great?
The rumble under foot and the view down the Hudson. The elegant profile overhead and the cables strung above you. Most of all, the pleasure of walking over a long bridge when you’d normally drive. Seeing the suckers pay their tolls when you don’t have to? You betcha.
Crossing in wet weather is unlikely to be a good idea owing to the high potential for road splash.
Are you maybe concerned that once at Bear Mountain State Park you won’t manage to find the route over the bridge amidst spaghetti tangle of speedy roads? No worries: you’ll have no trouble at all. That’s because the Appalachian Trail goes through the parking lot. The whole area is liberally sprinkled with rectangular white blazes you can follow right over the bridge.
It shouldn’t take very long…
Your walk won’t take you very long, although bridges can look deceptively short until you’re putting one foot in front of the other. Aaand seeing as there’s no other bridge to get back on, natch, you’ll be hiking Bear Mountain Bridge all over again. This may be less memorable than the first time around, but heck, you’d really want to skip the whole adventure?
Don’t settle into your breeches yet, though….
Additional exercise is on the agenda…
Next, you’ll take yourself by hook or by crook up to Perkins Memorial Tower.
Either follow the Appalachian Trail white blazes from your parked car—being sure to replenish your water supply—or wheel on up Perkins Memorial Drive in your jalopy and scamper around the grounds of the Perkins Memorial Tower.
Yet more exercise?
Yeppers. First, there’s the scampering aspect. Then, wriggle your fingers by snapping photos prodigiously. Swivel your eyes over four states and the bridge you’ve just hiked over. Clap yourself on the back for getting sweaty.
Then there’s a swim after your little adventure?
You might just have to dawdle a little longer at Bear Mountain State Park before you get on the road.
Photo credits. Featured image and top…Bear Mountain Bridge in fall: CC BY-ND 2.0 by Dave Overcash via Flickr. Bridge-level, with pedestrian walkway, looking west Bear Mountain NY: CC BY-ND 2.0 by Ken via Flickr. Perkins Memorial Tower on Bear Mountain Peak: CC BY 2.0 by TheTurducken via Flickr.