Summer Day: Bear Mountain State Park

bearGeorge Walbridge Perkins, a businessman and leader of the Progressive Movement (and the Progressive Party of Theodore Roosevelt) died in 1920, but his legacy includes at least one local treasure: Bear Mountain State Park.

The site of numerous military engagements during the American Revolution, the park Perkins helped create has since become one of the most peaceful spots in the tri-state area. Less than an hour’s drive away for most North Jersey residents, it is, like the George Washington Bridge, an integral element of the Hudson River’s long, rich history.

And, just as important: It’s fun!

A perfect place for a hike, with the sort of panoramic views that leave visitors slack-jawed, Bear Mountain offers a host of other attractions, from its pool and playgrounds, to its museums, zoo and vintage carousel, lakeside picnic areas, a delightful gift shop and an inn that offers overnight accommodations as well as terrific food, whether you’re in the market for brunch, a midday snack, or a sophisticated supper in the Bear Mountain Inn’s spectacularly rustic dining room.

IF YOU GO

BEAR MOUNTAIN STATE PARK

Where: Palisades Parkway or Route 9W north, Bear Mountain, N.Y.

Info: nysparks.com/parks/13/details.aspx or 845-786-2701

Park hours: 8 a.m. – sunset; $10 per vehicle.

Bear Mountain Pool: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekends through Sept. 5. $2 per person.

Merry-Go-Round: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, through Sept. 5. $1 per ride.

Perkins Memorial Drive & Tower: through Nov. 30, weather permitting.

Trailside Museums and Zoo: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. No fee, donations ($1) suggested.

Bear Mountain Inn: visitbearmountain.com.

FULL STORY

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