New York City: Bear and West Mountains via the AT

This 10-mile out-and-back climbs a summit with far-reaching views and ends at a rustic Appalachian Trail shelter.

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Mapped by Jeff Chow


Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.0



Location: 41.3145332336426, -73.989616394043

Walk SW around Hessian Lake on paved stretch of Appalachian Trail; aromas of pizza, hot dogs waft from concessions


Location: 41.3115844726562, -73.9925689697266

Pass under lip of old ski jump hidden in dense foliage (heads up, it’s easy to miss); small building by trail marks spot. Go S, then begin steep ascent of Bear Mtn. through forest


Location: 41.3111228942871, -73.9993133544922

Cross Perkins Memorial Dr. and keep climbing; in next .4 mi., you’ll cross road four more times


Location: 41.311450958252, -74.0068130493164

Perkins Tower: Stone tower punctuates broad summit of Bear Mtn. (1,284 ft.); look out at Hudson Highlands and hazy NYC skyline. To rejoin AT, skirt tower’s S side and cross lot; rocky terrain ahead


Location: 41.3111953735352, -74.012565612793

AT follows Perkins Memorial Dr. In .3 mi., bear R, leaving road for trail


Location: 41.3039512634277, -74.0133666992188

Cross Seven Lakes Dr.; head SE on wide XC ski trail. In .3 mi., straight @ T with Fawn Trail. In .7 mi., straight @ 3-way with Timp-Torne (T-T) Trail


Location: 41.2944145202637, -74.0171966552734

Head S, traversing West Mtn. ridge; catch W views of valley through trees


Location: 41.2883834838867, -74.0154800415039

Continue S along ridge


Location: 41.2869148254394, -74.0151519775391

Bear L @ Y onto T-T Trail for .5 mi. jaunt to shelter. Rocky ledges overlook distant layers of lush, rounded ridgelines


Location: 41.2824172973633, -74.0092468261719

West Mtn. Shelter: See the glow of city lights and the Hudson River from this stone haven nestled in the trees; retrace steps

Perkins Tower

Location: 41.3114852905273, -74.0063934326172

©Jeff Chow


Location: 41.3141250610352, -73.9898223876953

©Jeff Chow

View into the valley

Location: 41.2868156433106, -74.0151062011719

©Jeff Chow

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