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2021-07-02  
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Bear Mountain Park: Hudson Boat Dock and Fort, NY
mini location map2021-07-02
13 by photographer avatarDaytripper
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Bear Mountain Park: Hudson Boat Dock and Fort, NY 
Bear Mountain Park: Hudson Boat Dock and Fort, NY
 
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2021
Daytripper
Hiking3.81 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking3.81 Miles   1 Hour   48 Mns   2.26 mph
640 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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First time in Bear Mountain State Park, tempted by several trails with interesting history that are accessible from this park. Being a Friday before a long weekend was expecting a large crowd but the clouds ,fog and rain threat may have reduced it as no problem parking at 0800.Enjoyed the drive from Fishkill through the small hamlets with their exuberant displays of red , white and blue. Anything not moving was flagged or bunting draped! Parked near the Bear Mountain Inn , built in 1915, first checked out the carousel with its carved and hand painted figures unfortunately only visible through the windows of the closed building. After completing the Bear Mountain Loop hike then started this hike beside Lake Hessian using this paved portion of the Appalachian Trail that skirts the lake and then drops down to reach its lowest elevation along it’s 2,100 miles near the Bear den. It continues crossing under Palisades Parkway and then crossing over the Bear Mountain Bridge. This section of the Appalachian Trail was the first one built going between here and the Delaware Water Gap. Before heading to the Bear den I made a side trip down to check out the historic path from the Hudson River Boat Dock ,which was restored in the 1980’s, at one time the restored Henry Hudson ship the “ Halve Maen” was docked there . This path which went by the Bear den on the way to the Inn welcomed thousands of tourists from NYC during the 1920’ and 1930’s via steamships for camping along the lake and stays at the Inn. After passing through the underpass for the train tracks, constructed when Arizona was a year old, , the dock was empty except for an offering, the water was choppy and there was a cool breeze blowing a few geese were swimming away , saw no one else there or after passing by the trail side zoo turn. The tourists would have encountered a steep climb to the Inn , on the way up noticed an Elk head statue that I missed on the way down due to vegetation , it was fenced off so was not able to get a good head on photo. After getting back up to the trail side zoo turn followed the paved path past the Bear den and on to a brief pause at the museum that’s actually on the prior site of Fort Clinton . Then followed the Popolopen trail to Fort Montgomery.Forts Montgomery and Clinton were built to impede British progress up the Hudson River in their effort to cut off New England from the other colonies. After these forts were captured work was started at West Point 5 miles further north . This trail descended to River level near where the Popolopen Creek meets the River and a pedestrian bridge was crossed. . Of course had to climb back up the other side to go around the Fort Montgomery Visitor Center. Continued a short distance down the 1777 , 1779 and Popolopen Torne combo trail towards the west redoubts. Saw one young doe along here ,no other hikers since leaving Fort Clinton. Retraced my way back to Hessian Lake , bypassing the boat dock. Very enjoyable and interesting area and managed to avoid the heavy rains that came later.
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