Little Apple’s Summer Destination Series: Bear Mountain State Park

by | Jun 23, 2015 | Editor's Pick, Family, Lifestyle, Travel

View from The Perkins Tower

Photo courtesy of NYS Parks.

Downtown Magazine editors love every aspect of big city living. However, every now and then, we need a change of pace. Throughout the summer our Little Apple division will be releasing our “Editors Picks” for great day trip destinations that are fun for the whole family and easy to get to.

Bear Mountain State Park boasts beautiful mountainside views along the Hudson River. Visitors can then partake in any number of the park’s recreational activities. From the large play field to miles of hiking and biking trails, lake and river fishing, shaded picnic areas, and swimming pool, there is something to do for everyone. Our Little Apple Editor recommends a hike up to the Perkins Memorial Tower for a bird’s eye view of the area. These types of amenities are what make this state run park a great family destination.

The MERRY-GO-ROUND at Bear Mountain State Park features hand-painted scenes of the Park and 42 hand-carved seats of native animals including black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, canada goose, fox, swan, bobcat, rabbit, and more.

Photo courtesy of NYS Parks.

A unique feature of the park is the Merry-Go-Round which features 42 hand-carved animal seats depicting the local wildlife and hand painted scenes of the park. Guests can ride a hand carved black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, Canada goose, fox, swan, bobcat, and rabbit among others.

Another must-see is the Trailside Museum and Zoo. Located in the park, the Trailside Museum and Zoo has a variety of rescued and rehabilitated mammals, reptiles, and birds of prey guests can see and learn about up close. The animals range from birds of prey such as bald eagles to local New York mammals. Guests can also visit the museum’s cultural exhibits including local geology and Native American and Colonial History exhibits.

Bear Mountain State Park is managed by New York State Parks. It can be reached by taking the 5 subway train to Grand Central, and from there, taking Metro North to Manitou and walking over the bridge for the rest of the journey. The trip via train is about 1 hour 45 minutes long. Also available is a Shortline bus roundtrip ticket leaving from the Port Authority Bus Depot and dropping off at the park. Other suggested modes of transit are by car, Zipcar rental, or traditional rental car via Palisades Interstate Parkway in just over an hour.

-by Alyssa Bajek

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