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Only a few are aware of this little secret: New York City has a lot more to offer than skyscrapers, shopping, and museums – beautiful mountains and gorgeous scenery can be found just a short distance from the city. If you would like to combine the discovery of the area outside the city with a cruise across the Hudson River, then the all-day boat tour to Bear Mountain is a perfect choice.
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Given the 8 hour duration of the trip, this tour is best suited for travelers who are in New York for an extended period of time. This boat tour can be the icing on the cake of a perfect city vacation as it presents a nice change of pace after days in the concrete jungle.
The ultimate Nature & City Cruise – Boat tour to Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain is located in the state of New York, approx. 70 kilometers outside of New York City, in the Hudson Highlands. The natural beauty of the area is truly remarkable and it is hard to believe that you are only a short distance away from the mega-metropolis of New York.
It feels as though you are in the wilds of Canada, far removed from any civilization. Only a handful of tourist knows of its existence – making this tour the ultimate insider tip and way to escape from the masses.
Your destination of the boat tour is the Bear Mountain State Park, a park 7m² in size, located on the west side of the Hudson River.
Video of the Bear Mountain Day Trip
A day of experiencing the Hudson and the natural beauty of New York
The Circle Line Boat leaves Manhattan from Pier 83 and heads towards Palisades Park and the George Washington Bridge. The last part of Manhattan, the Upper West Side, and Harlem will be visible on your right, after which you will then pass underneath the impressive George Washington Bridge – the only bridge that connects the state of New Jersey with the state of New York.
On the left of the boat, the Palisades Park in New Jersey will come into view which you can admire during your 3-hour boat ride to Bear Mountain. Cruising past gorgeous scenery the tour guide provides interesting information regarding the history of Bear Mountain and its surrounding area. There are breakfast and lunch on the Circle Line Boat as well as coffee, drinks and other beverages.
Discovering Bear Mountain State Park
Once you arrive at Bear Mountain, you have 3 hours to explore the state park as you wish. Your options include relaxing on the shore of Bear Mountain Lake, renting a boat to paddle across the river, or climbing the mountain via one of the numerous hiking trails. There are many overlooks that afford fantastic views and photo opportunities.
The park is a popular weekend destination for families who come here to grill out and enjoy the day in the shadow of the mountain. Bear Mountain Park also has several trailside interpretive sites and a zoo. Additional features include the Iona Island Nature and Bird Conservation Area, Perkins Tower, a carousel, and a beautiful pavilion. Also, make sure to stop by the restaurant 1915 at Bear Mountain for a quick bite and beverages. There’s a gift shop as well, where you can purchase great souvenirs to take home with you.
You won’t find many tourists here. The Circle Line Boat you took to get to the park is the only boat that makes the trip upriver. After your 3 hours of exploring Bear Mountain State Park, the boat takes you back to your departure point in Manhattan.
Tickets and prices for the all-day boat tour to Bear Mountain
You can take the boat cruise to Bear Mountain at any time of the year as the park is beautiful during every season. In the fall, nature’s colors are particularly impressive. The cruise starts every Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 am at Pier 83 in Manhattan. Please arrive 45 minutes before departure.
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I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!