Total Distance: approximately 8 miles
Difficulty: medium - difficult (hilly/steep/rocky terrain, about 1,500'
Dogs: allowed on leash
Estimated hiking time: 5.5 hours -
The blue-blazed Camp Smith Trail starts behind historic Bear Mountain
Bridge toll house, 0.7 mile north of the entrance to Camp Smith on Bear
Mountain Road, Route 6/202. At first, the trail parallels the road,
climbing steadily. It drops steeply through a rock field and turns left
before reaching a massive cliff. Staying within sight and sound of the
road, it works its way gradually uphill, crossing small ridges. At 0.6
mile, it begins a serious ascent of Manitou Mountain, soon climbing very
steeply on a series of rock steps. It turns left to reach a viewpoint
to the south. Turning right, it crosses the top of an open rock face.
Continuing north to Anthony's Nose, the trail crosses Broccy Creek
and heads gradually uphill, paralleling the road. After turning away
from the road, it joins and leaves woods roads and crosses streams.
Rising out of a ravine, the trail turns right at 2.4 miles, onto a rock
outcropping with views of the Hudson River, Iona Island, and Bear
Mountain-Harriman State Park. Paralleling the river high over the road,
the trail first drops slightly then begins to climb steeply.
At 2.7 miles, another rock outcropping with a view offers an excuse
to stop before tackling the remaining unrelenting assault up Anthony's
Nose. Along the last 0.4 mile, there are both seasonal and year-round
views from open rock slabs. The trail drops down off the summit to join a
woods road. A left turn leads to panoramic views of the Hudson River,
the Bear Mountain Bridge, and Bear Mountain-Harriman State Park. A right
turn takes hikers to the Appalachian Trail, where the Camp Smith Trail
ends at 3.7 miles. Follow the white blazes to the left and descend
steeply for 0.6 mile to Route 9D.
The old tollhouse is located 2.6 miles east of the Bear Mountain Bridge on US 6 on the left.
Take the Palisades Parkway North in New York state toward Bear Mountain. The Parkway will bring you right to the Bear Mountain Bridge. Cross the Bridge and bear right after crossing the bridge onto US 6 East. Continue for 2.6 miles. The tollhouse parking lot is on the left.