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Perched high above the
Valley ontop of Bear Mountain in Bear Mountain State
Park is an impressive 40 foot tall stone lookout tower.
The tower was built in 1931-34 and dedicated as the
Perkins Memorial Tower to honor former Chairman of
the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Of the many
locations in the lower Hudson Valley to get a panoramic
overview of this historically important stretch of
the river, this is possibly the very best.
From the tower itself,
and the surrounding grounds, you have an unimcumbered
360° view south to New York City, east to Connecticut,
north to Mount Beacon and west to the Shawangunks.
A stunning vista.
Make sure to climb the
tower for the best view. It's a fairly easy four flight
climb up very friendly internal stairs. At each landing
there are benches to sit and look out of the small
windows, and to catch your breath. As you sit at the
landing, the Park Commission has created a series
of exhibitions, a different subject on each level.
You can see photos of the tower being created, steam
ships and paddle-wheelers bringing guests up to Bear
Mountain and a quick history of the Palisades Interstate
Parkway Commission itself.
Once at the top, you are
rewarded with possibly the most spectacular panoramic
view in the lower half of the Hudson Valley. Right
there before you are the spires of New York City.
Surrounding you are the hills and slopes of the Hudson
Highlands. A trip at any time of the year to the tower
is rewarding, but especially in the late fall during
the height of the fall foliage season.
Walk out from the tower
to the rocky point and experience the view from there
as well. From here you can see back around the tower,
down into the clove and out across the Peekskill Bay
section of the Hudson River out past the "South
You can get to it from Exit 19 on
the Palisades Interstate Parkway or from the other
side directly from the lodge at Bear Mountain State
Park. Take the road and turn onto Perkins Memorial
Drive and head uphill.