Bear Mountain Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Bear Mountain


Great views of the Hudson River from Perkins Memorial Tower at the top

Page Contributor(s): Ties Arts, Bussum, Netherlands

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Climb Summary

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - aerial view of Bear Mountain Bridge during fall, surrounded by bright fall foliage

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York

Ride 4.5 miles, 1,230’ at 5.2%

Bear Mountain Bridge, as seen from Perkins Memorial Drive mountain summit.  

Bear Mountain is in the Catskill subrange of the Appalachians Mountain Range. The climb begins by riding up Seven Lakes Drive from its intersection with Route 202.  At mile 2.2 we veer right onto Perkins Memorial Drive for the last half of the climb.  Perkins Memorial Drive is a scenic drive to the summit of Bear Mountain which along with the Perkins Memorial Tower was constructed between 1932-1934.

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, Perkins Memorial at top of climb, wooden bench at climb's summit, Bear Mountain Bridge as seen from above, sign for Bear Mt. State Park, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Photos clockwise from top left: Perkins Memorial at top of climb; view west from mile 3.2;

 Bear Mountain Bridge; bench at the summit, and climb’s start (center photo).

This glorious bike climb is located in Bear Mountain State Park, New York (5,205 acres, est. 1913), on the west side of the Hudson River and offers exceptional views of the Hudson Highlands.  Bear Mountain is one of New York’s best-known peaks, and in addition to being a cyclist attraction, the mountain is also a popular area for hikers.  The oldest section of the Appalachian Trail is on Bear Mountain (Bear Mountain).  The park has plenty to do for those less interested in cycling and hiking as well, including: “a large play field, shaded picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, Trailside Museums and Zoo, cross-country ski trails,” a Merry-Go-Round featuring hand carved native animals, and even an outdoor ice rink (open from late October through mid-March).  The Perkins Memorial Tower (open from April through late November) sits atop the mountain and gives visitors incredible views of not only Bear Mountain State Park, but also the adjacent Harriman State Park and Hudson Highlands (Bear Mountain SP).

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, views along the first half-mile of the climb including sign for Bear Mt. State Park, thick foliage, signs for winding roads, panoramic views of hillsides, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

First 6/10ths of a mile of the climb to the lower State Park parking lot.

The grade for the entire climb is generally a consistent 4-7% with the steepest quarter mile beginning at mile 2.8 (8.3%).

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, bike parked in front of road closure sign, bike parked against tree overlooking panoramic views of dense foliage covered hillsides, a deer crossing the street, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Second segment: lower parking lot to Perkins Memorial Drive (mile 2.4 to the finish at mile 4.5).

The summit of Bear Mountain is accessible by a paved road, has several roadside viewpoints, a picnic area, and an observatory at the Perkins Memorial Tower.

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - aerial view of Perkins Memorial at the top of the climb

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, Perkins Memorial as seen from above, bike parked in rocks overlooking hillside, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Amazing views of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain Bridge, and . . .

on an exceptionally clear day . . .

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - New York City skyline can be seen in the distance behind rolling hills covered in foliage, bike on hillside overlooking views, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

New York City can be seen in the distance!

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - bike parked next to large grey rock with red heart painted on it on roadside

The Bear Mountain bike climb is 50 miles north of New York City and is featured as the northern tip of the Gran Fondo New York (Course; GFNY: 100 miles, 8,500’).

Bike climb Bear Mountain - gran fondo ny; cyclist pointing at map

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - Gran Fondo New York jerseys, climb gradient, bike handlebars with GFNY bib number, moto marshall riding in road during GFNY

Summary of ride from Ties Arts of the Netherlands, from his 2017 US climb trip:

cycling Bear Mountain - gfny - cyclist on road

The climb is not steep, but neither is it easy, with a 5%+ average grade. It has magnificent views over the Hudson River and Highlands.

bike ride Bear Mountain - gfny, sign,

The is a unique climb in the Hudson Highlands of  New York State. It is a climb included in the popular annual
Gran Fondo New York. On the top near the Perkins Memorial Tower there is a food/drink opportunity during the Gran Fondo. It is an amazing view on top of Bear Mountain, especially when all the riders are wearing the same green Gran Fondo jersey.

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, Bear Mountain Bridge, american flag atop hillside, aerial views of river, bridge, and hillsides, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Views of Bear Mountain Bridge from Bear Mountain Summit, the bridge itself and

Anthony’s Nose (across the river from Bear Mountain, middle two photos).

That’s a wrap!