Tag Archives: Bear Mountain State Park

Palisades Parks Conservancy 10th Annual Benefit

The Palisades Parks Conservancy will hold its 10th Annual Benefit Reception and Silent Auction at the Bear Mountain Inn on Saturday, September 15th, 2012. The Conservancy will will present Barnabas McHenry with the Palisades Founders Award in recognition of his legacy of dedication and generosity to the parks and historic sites of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.

Barney, long committed to conservation, serves as a Palisades Interstate Park Commissioner, Chair of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Council, and co-chair of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

The Conservancy will also extend its thanks and well wishes to the Honorable Maurice Hinchey, environmental watchdog in the United States Congress and the man behind the Hudson River Greenway and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. For more information or to request an invitation, call 845-786-2701 extension 281 or email smiths@pipc.org.

Bear Mountain Inn Reopening Saturday After Renovations

The historic Bear Mountain Inn at Bear Mountain State Park, which had been closed for renovations for over six years, will reopen its lodging facilities to the public this Saturday, February 18, 2012.

Originally built in 1915, the Inn has been extensively renovated to include 15 luxury guest rooms and suites designed by Thomas Hamilton and Associates, and over 20,000 square feet of flexible event space. Room rates will range from $189 to $450/night. The Inn also welcomes guests to the 1915 Cafe, which features a local and sustainable menu, and the Bear Mountain Trading Company, where visitors can find park souvenirs, crafts, local food items, and jewelry.

Bear Mountain Inn is an historic landmark, listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places. Upon its opening, The American Architect declared the Bear Mountain Inn to be one of the “finest examples of rustic Adirondack architecture in America.” Park employees constructed the Inn using natural materials, including stone and wood found in the park. The Inn’s interior is outfitted in the rustic style with handcrafted chairs, sofas, tables, light fixtures, and other accessories to complement the building’s design and woodland setting.

The Inn has hosted such dignitaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. It has also welcomed the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, New York Knicks, Green Bay Packers, champion boxer Jack Dempsey, and entertainment headliners Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, and Kate Smith to name a few.

Bear Mountain State Park is considered the flagship of the Palisades Interstate Park System. The park is 45 miles north of New York City, in the Hudson Highlands. Facilities include playing fields, picnic groves, rowboat docks on Hessian Lake, swimming pool and bathhouse, nature trails including the first segment of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, an ice-skating rink, basketball court, Trailside Museums and Zoo, Iona Island Estuarine Reserve and Bird Refuge, Perkins Memorial Drive and Tower, the Bear Mountain Merry-Go-Round and pavilion as well as four stone lodges, Cliffhouse and the Overlook Lodge.

Event catering is under the leadership of award-winning Executive Chef Michael Matarazzo. The Bear Mountain Inn is managed by Guest Services, Inc., of Virginia, a private hospitality company that has provided food, hotel, resort and leisure services since 1917.

More information about Bear Mountain Inn can be found online.

Photo: Bear Mountain Inn Dining Room, circa 1923.

Work to Close Harriman- Bear Mountain Park Trails

Work to replace a water line that runs through the Popolopen Gorge will close the Popolopen Gorge Trail and portions of the 1779, 1777W and Timp Torne Trails beginning at about the end of September. The closure will affect trails for a distance of 2.2 miles through the Gorge.

The Queensboro Water Transmission Main Replacement work will involve directional drilling and trenching, likely including some blasting, to replace the old aqueduct that provides water to Bear Mountain facilities. Duration of the project is expected to be six months, possibly extending into late spring of 2012. The work will destroy the trail surface- reconditioning of the surface is included in the work plan.

The map above indicates (yellow outline) the area of the trails to be closed. To aid in understanding the full situation of limited access to trails in the area, also indicated is the former location of the Popolopen Creek bridge that was washed aside by Hurricane Irene. Replacement of this long fiberglass bridge will be an extended process, requiring determination of the repair procedure, consideration of raising the height of the bridge, acquiring funding, accomplishing the repair, and moving and reinstalling the bridge into place. For more information, call (845) 786-2701.

Palisades Parks Affected by Tropical Storm Irene

Many state parks and historic sites in the Palisades Region are inaccessible due to damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Parks will reopen as power is restored, debris is removed, floodwaters recede, and public safety can be assured. The list of closings will be updated as conditions changes. Before visiting, visitors should contact the respective park offices for the most up-to-date information on availability of facilities and hours of operation.

* Bear Mountain State Park services are limited due to disruption of water service and the pool will remain closed for the season. The zoo is currently closed.

* Camping at Sebago Cabins, Beaver Pond and group camps at Harriman State Park is unavailable until further notice.

* Sebago Beach at Harriman is closed for the season.

* Lake Welch and Tiorati areas of Harriman are without power and water.

* High Tor State Park is without power.

* Minnewaska State Park Preserve will be open on a limited basis until further notice effective Saturday, September 3, 2011. The Preserve will only be open for hiking, picnicking, and swimming at Lake Minnewaska and climbing at the Peter’s Kill area. Biking and equestrian use will not be permitted. Access is only available for hikers and climbers. All hikers must park in the Awosting Parking Lot and all climbers must park in the Peter’s Kill parking lot. Please adhere to all posted trail closings.

Photo: Storm Damage on Palisades Park Road (Photo by Sean Rose).

Sponsors Sought for Bear Mountain Inn Reopening

When first opened in 1915, The American Architect declared the Bear Mountain Inn to be one of the “finest examples of rustic Adirondack architecture in America.” Commission President George W. Perkins Sr. described the building as ‘-a rugged heap of boulders and huge chestnut logs assembled at the base of Bear Mountain by the hand of man and yet following lines of such natural proportions as to resemble the eternal hills themselves.’

In the last few years, the historic Bear Mountain Inn underwent extensive renovations to restore its original rustic splendor. To help raise additional funds to complete the rehabilitation of the Inn and promote the grand reopening celebration on Friday, November 11, 2011, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and its non profit partner, the Palisades Parks Conservancy invite you to promote your business at this long anticipated event. They expect leaders in environmental protection, philanthropy, government, commerce, education, law, and medicine to attend.

They ask you to join our list of Corporate Sponsors, which you can do by purchasing a table, tickets, or advertising in the dinner journal. All proceeds support the ongoing preservation and restoration of the Palisades Park’s treasures, trails, recreational facilities, open spaces, group camps for children, educational exhibits, and historic sites that benefit the people of New York and New Jersey.

As a corporate sponsor, your business name will be published in the Bear Mountain Inn Reopening Celebration dinner program that is distributed to 450 guests. In addition, your support will be identified in all event related email advertising (distributed to 7000 individuals and media outlets), and the bi-annual print newsletter (distributed to 5000 recipients) throughout 2012. If your sponsorship order is placed prior to September 15, 2011, your name will also be listed on the event invitation as a member of the benefit committee that is mailed to 5000 individuals and emailed to over 7000 individuals and media outlets in the tri-state area. The Palisades Parks Conservancy will publicly acknowledge your tax exempt support.

For information about the event, please call (845) 786-2701 x239 or email info@palisadesparksconservancy.org

Photo: Bear Mountain Inn about 1920.

100th Anniversary of the Harriman Gift

On October 29, 1910, 18-year-old Averell Harriman, the future governor of the State of New York, represented the Harriman family in donating 10,000 acres of land in the Lower Hudson Valley and $1 million dollars to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC). The young Averell stated “it is the hope that through all the years to come the health and happiness of future generations will be advanced by these gifts.” The family’s gift created Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks, which now encompass more than 50,000 acres, more than three times the size of Manhattan.

In recognition of this year’s historic anniversary, PIPC has initiated a fundraising effort to rebuild, repair, and restore the Harriman Group Camps, with a goal of $2 million. The effort hopes to build a new generation of philanthropy for the Harriman Group Camps so generations of children can share in the wilderness experience. Donations for the Harriman Group Camps can be made to the Palisades Parks Conservancy Group Camp Fund.

Photo: Women enjoying the serenity of Bear Mountain c. 1914. Photo Courtesy of PIPC Archives.