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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.
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.
CSX road, 160.980; CSX dispatcher, 160.620; Metro-North, 160.950.
FOR 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.