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

Explore the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

2016-03-07_14-08-03

The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is a multi-use, natural surface trail, welcoming hikers, joggers, bicycle and horseback riders, dog walkers, and, in the winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers.

One of America’s ten most iconic rail trails, its 22 miles offers unsurpassed vistas, quiet arbors, ever-chilly caverns and a variety bridges. Spanning rivers and gorges, its bridges enable visitors and daily users to connect with nature, new friends, with our shared history and with a more sustainable future.

Passing through orchards, organic farms, lakes, rivers and streams, it also links villages and towns including the Historic Huguenot District in New Paltz, the towns of Gardiner and Rosendale and ending near the historic Stockade District in the City of Kingston.

Trail users will discover a wide variety of birds, wildlife, unique 19th century industrial historic sites as well as stunning views of the Shawangunk Ridge, Wallkill River and the Rondout Creek. The crown jewel of this 22-mile linear park is the famed Rosendale Trestle, with its 940 foot span over the Rondout Creek and soaring 150 feet above the water’s surface. The trail surface is gravel and packed dirt, except for a paved section of the trail in the heart of New Paltz from Plains Road to Broadhead Avenue.

The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.