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Bear Mountain, New York

By | October 19, 2020

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Scenic Bear Mountain is located about 45 miles north of New York City along the Hudson River. It offers a host of vantage points along the CSX Transportation “River Line” and Metro-North Hudson Line. Locations between Cold Spring and Peekskill, including Bear Mountain Bridge, provide public access to watch and photograph trains. The area is stunning in fall, when the autumn colors are ablaze along the river. Visitors and train-watchers find the local scenery enticing year-round, however.
tracksideicon_photoTRAIN WATCHING

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A Metro-North commuter train passes the famed Bear Mountain Bridge in October 2013, as seen from the Perkins Memorial Observatory.
Matt Donnelly
CSX’s Albany-Northern New Jersey main line, technically the River Subdivision, runs along the west bank of the Hudson River and offers about 30 freight trains a day. Across the river is the state-owned Metro-North line. It sees more than 60 weekday commuter trains, along with Amtrak’s regional Empire Service and long-distance Lake Shore Limited, which add more than 20 passenger trains on weekdays, and fewer numbers on weekends.

Midday offers some opportunity to see southbound trains from the walkway on Bear Mountain Bridge. In the early afternoon, check out Mine Dock Park, just north of the bridge on the west shore. In the evenings, spectacular images can be made from both the Bear Mountain Bridge and an overlook on the mountain at Perkins Memorial Observatory, just southwest from the bridge. From this location, visitors can see northbound passenger trains approach from as far away as Peekskill, more than 4 miles away.

Taking a good telephoto lens or binoculars ensures the best viewing opportunities.

tracksideicon_frequencyRADIO FREQUENCIES

CSX road, 160.980; CSX dispatcher, 160.620; Metro-North, 160.950.
tracksideicon_famFOR YOUR FAMILY

Bear Mountain State Park offers a variety of seasonal and year-round activities, including lake and river fishing, swimming, museums, recreation trails, and ice skating.

5 thoughts on “Bear Mountain, New York

  1. Clarification: Bear Mountain is on the west shore of the Hudson River. Bear Mountain is a state park, contiguous to Harriman (of UP/SP, etc., fame) State Park. A great place to visit, just a few miles south of the USMA (West Point), an 'open post'. Check out the old West Shore (NYCS) depot there. Tunnels abound in the area. Amtraker #49 is pictured under the not-so-euphonious "Anthony's Nose". Lots of history in the area. The neat Bear Mountain Bridge was built by Harriman, et al, privately funded. Last I knew, the toll was $1.25 (EB only), vs $16.00 on the George Washington Bridge to the south. Beware: roads in the area are narrow and 'squirrely'. Drive with care, and don't jump off the bridge!

  2. A bit of history for everyone:

    Just north of the Bear Mountain Bridge and the creek shown on the map were two Revolutionary War era forts, Forts Clinton and Montgomery. They guarded the first chain stretched across the Hudson River to block British ship movements.

    The forts were taken in October of 1777 by the Redcoats and the chain wrecked. It just MIGHT still be at the bottom of the river, if anyone cares to look for it.

    Anyway, you can’t beat the beauty of the Hudson Highlands. Current day art historians and critics have said the “Hudson River School” artists of the mid-19th Century exaggerated the wonders of the area. As one who’s hiked the trails up there let me tell you, NO they didn’t!

  3. Hey, what happened? Ray Cooney didn’t post that comment, I did! Me! Wayne A!
    Some kind of system freakout goin’ on here?

  4. Mr. Hays, did you mean to say “not-so-euphonious “Anthony’s Nose” ” or perhaps you meant to say eponymous if it were named for Anthony or not-so-eponymous if the feature really wasn’t named for anyone? Just curious. Euphonious is an interesting word choice.

  5. How do you get on the Boat. That looks like an ideal way to see a lot of Train action. 🙂

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