Bear Mountain offers four seasons of outdoor adventures less than an hour from New York City.
Hemmed in by the peaks and forests of the Hudson Highlands, with views spanning the Hudson River Valley, Bear Mountain is the ultimate outdoor getaway, and—bonus—it’s just a short drive from NYC. Once you’ve followed the Appalachian Trail across Bear Mountain Bridge, seen the views from Perkins Memorial Tower, and explored the hiking trails of Bear Mountain State Park, you’ll find plenty of camping options in the surrounding hills. April through November is the main season for hiking and camping—come in fall for some of the best foliage in New York state, or plan a winter trip for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating.
The epic Seven Lakes Drive links Bear Mountain State Park with the neighboring Harriman State Park, passing camper favorites such as Lake Welch, Lake Sebago, and Lake Tiorati. The two New York state parks encompass more than 50,000 acres of lakes, woodlands, and rivers—about the size of Brooklyn—so you won’t have to look far to find a hiking trail, boat launch, or campsite.
North of NYC, Manhattan skyscrapers give way to the marshes and vine-clad hills of the Lower Hudson Valley, affording campers plenty of options for a weekend getaway. Admire the soaring cliffs of the Palisades on the New Jersey shore of the Hudson, visit the Rockefeller estate and state park preserve in Sleepy Hollow, or hop over into the Greenwich hills of Connecticut.
North of Bear Mountain, the Catskills Mountains provide ample terrain for hikers and campers, whether you prefer a cozy cabin, luxury glampsite, or primitive tent camping. Hit the mountain biking trails at Plattekill Mountain, hike to Kaaterskill Falls, or enjoy fall foliage walks in the Catskill Forest Preserve. In winter, Hunter Mountain and Belleayre Mountain are two of Upstate New York’s most popular ski resorts.
Follow the Hudson River north to enjoy brunch and antique browsing in heritage towns like Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Albany; go wine tasting amid Hudson Valley vineyards; or visit historic sites like the Vanderbilt Mansion and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fishing, boating, and paddling are popular pastimes along the river, and for a unique camping experience, there are kayak-in tent campsites at Hudson River Islands State Park.