For decades families have traveled to the lower Hudson Valley in New York State to enjoy the Bear Mountain State Park. 2012 is no exception, this past weekend many flocked to the popular park.
Located alongside the scenic Hudson River and adjacent to the Bear Mountain Bridge, the Bear Mountain State Park offers a gorgeous location for recreation, relaxation and ability to enjoy the natural surroundings.
The region also is full of history, having been a pivotal location during the Revolutionary War era.
There are year-round activities at the park, but during the summer months visitors can enjoy the its amenities which include several picnic areas, barbecuing, playgrounds and open fields often used for kite-flying or sports.
A relatively new addition over the last decade has been the carousel. In the park's confines there is not a lack of places for the kids to let loose some energy.
Bear Mountain's carousel features the traditional horses, but also a mix of wildlife for the kids to ride. Many of the carousel's animals can be seen in the wild in the surrounding counties, and the carousel includes rabbits, bears, ducks and raccoons, to name a few.
This area was the location of a bitter battle between American and British forces in Oct. 1777. This, the Outer Redoubt, is only remains left of Fort Clinton. The fort's remains are found within the Bear Mountain Zoo's boundaries.
Exhibit of cannonballs found in one of the Trailside Museums located within the zoo's boundaries.
The park is open 365 days a year and while many of the park's amenities are free, parking is $8.00 this 2012 season. There is a fee associated with some of the state park's amenities. Fees for pool access are $2.00 for adults, children aged 6-12 $1.00 and under fives are free. The carousel is $1 per person over 42 inches tall. There is no fee to enjoy the zoo, however there is a donation box at the entryway.
This past weekend, it was a scorcher in New York, and the park's primary parking lot was full by noon, and park personnel were directing traffic to the overflow parking lots. The Bear Mountain State Park is a perennial favorite for locals and visitors alike.