Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

May 24, 2024

Jennifer Sylvestri Park Manager, Bear Mountain 845-271-5742

The Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain is Reopening

(Bear Mountain, NY – May 24, 2024) Ten months after the historic storm that led to its closure, the Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain State Park will reopen for Memorial Day weekend 2024. Additionally, the previously closed sections of the Major Welch and Suffern – Bear Mountain trails will also open to hikers.

On July 9, 2023, a massive storm dropped approximately 10 inches of rain on Bear Mountain, damaging the park's infrastructure, water supply, and trail systems and forcing the park to close for two months during the summer season. With support, guidance, and expertise from the NY-NJ Trail Conference, volunteer labor from West Point and elsewhere, and funding from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC), we are pleased to announce that the Appalachian Trail from the top of Bear Mountain to the Bear Mountain Inn – a section that had been closed since July 2023 – will reopen in time for the park's official summer season this Memorial Day Weekend. This includes two areas atop Bear Mountain that are meant as accessible amenities within the park – the All Peoples' Trail and the newly-renovated accessible viewing area at Perkins Tower. These sections were restored thanks to the Palisades Parks Conservancy, who will complete additional upgrades to the viewing area this summer.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons said, "I am excited to welcome visitors back to this popular hiking destination and beloved overlook for Memorial Day weekend and the summer season. Thanks to our partners at the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference, West Point, Palisades Park Conservancy and our dedicated OPRHP and PIPC staff for working hard to get this vital recreational resource back open to the public."

PIPC Executive Director Joshua Laird said "The closure of the Appalachian Trail in Bear Mountain State Park following significant damage caused by last July's major storm event has been painful for both the park and our hiking community. PIPC is thrilled that needed repairs to the A-T have been completed in time for the 2024 season. We are grateful that Governor Hochul and our colleagues at New York State Parks are investing needed resources to ensure our recovery from the storm and look forward to re-opening the rest of Bear Mountain's trail network in the months ahead. The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference has been an invaluable partner in this effort as well."

Josh Howard, Executive Director of the NY-NJ Trail Conference said, "The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference's staff and volunteers are proud to support our partners at the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in providing enjoyable and safe recreational opportunities on trails. Our restoration work in response to the devastation in the aftermath of last summer's storms highlights the importance of this partnership. The dedication, craftsmanship, and commitment displayed by our volunteers and Conservation Corps members in restoring and reopening the Appalachian Trail in Bear Mountain State Park is remarkable. It is a true testament to their passion for trails and our collective goal of helping the public enjoy nature through exceptional trail experiences."

In the aftermath of the storm, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York State Office of General Services and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission have worked together to repair the parks roads, bridges, drains, water, power, and sewer. Approximately $40 Million has been spent to ensure that the park is back and open for the 2024 season.

Though many of the roads and bridges were reopened during the Summer and Fall of 2023, the trail system has taken longer to repair. Nearly every trail in the park's 42-mile system received some level of damage, with some of that damage forcing complete reconstruction. OPRHP and PIPC are working together to develop constructable plans to repair many of the trails, including those in Doodletown that were severely damaged.

Bear Mountain's section of the Appalachian Trail was the very first to be constructed along the now 2,190+ mile path. The trail continues through the nearby Trailside Museums & Zoo and over the Bear Mountain Bridge. The Bear Mountain section of the A-T will celebrate its 100th year in 2025.

Bear Mountain State Park is one of 21 parks and 9 historic sites in New York and New Jersey that are operated by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC). Established in 1908, Bear Mountain is one of the oldest State Parks in New York. The park receives some 2 million annual visitors who come to picnic, hike the Appalachian Trail, swim at the pool, visit the Zoo, and more. PIPC work with the New York State Office Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to manage these parks for public recreation and to protect natural and cultural resources. Visit for more information.

Formed in 1900, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) is the nation's first bi-state entity established to protect and conserve natural lands. Today it manages 21 parks and 9 historic sites spanning over 125,000 acres in New York and Northern New Jersey. PIPC's early work helped inspire the emerging fields of environmental stewardship and education, pioneered the goal of exposing children to nature through its group campgrounds, and served as a model for the early growth of the national park system. The Commission's maple and oak leaf logo represents the official state trees of New York and New Jersey.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which saw a record 84 million visits in 2023. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit, download the free NY State Parks Explorer app or call 518.474.0456. Join us in celebrating our Centennial throughout 2024, and connect with us on FacebookInstagramX (formerly Twitter) and the OPRHP Blog

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,190+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.