Secret Bear Mountain State Park Slab Scramble

Bear Mountain is one of New York State’s most popular public parks. However, despite the thousands of people that visit the area each year, the mountain still has a few secrets that only a few hikers in the area are aware of. Perhaps the biggest secret is the rock slab on Bear Mountain’s Southwest slope.

Four of us decided to pay the slab a visit on September 10, 2013 despite the extremely humid weather. So humid that it seemed as if the rocks were sweating almost as much as the hikers were. We started off from the main Bear Mountain Parking lot. To make the hike a bit more interesting we extended the trip through Doodletown following the red blazed 1777 trail heading west until it crossed the Appalachian Trail (AT). From there we followed the AT North crossing Seven Lakes Drive and continued onwards until it reached Perkins Memorial Drive. We then hiked about 50-100 yards up Perkins Memorial Drive. There is a large rock outcrop jutting towards the road on the right, which marks the beginning of the off trail slab scramble.

We stayed close to the treeline on the left so as not to be too exposed. After about a 30-40 yard ascent the treeline opens up on the left and you cross over onto a completely open and exposed slab. There was no room for a margin of error in this location. One slip and we would have slid hundreds of feet straight down to the road below resulting in serious injury or death. At this point we stayed right along the treeline which gives a bit more security. We then pushed up to the top of the first slide. This is a nice spot to stop, catch your breath and take in the surrounding views.

From here we pushed up through another row of trees. There is a 2-3 foot rock overhang that you have to drag yourself over. It is a bit exposed, but there are a few trees to cling to in this section. As we continued our push upward we entered another steep slab clearing. This section was pretty taxing and once again there was not really any room for error, although the slab wasn’t quite as steep at this point. After about another 50 yards the slab leveled out. We stopped there for a long time as members of the party drank some beer and reflected on the days events.

We then continued up the moderate incline until we reached the junction of the blue trail and the AT. From here we followed the AT back down to our cars which were parked near Bear Mountain Inn.

This entry was posted by Art Director on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 at 8:39 pm and is filed under Hiking, Sunset . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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