Bear Mountain Loop
Winter Overview and Trail Conditions:
Bear Mountain is located in the Cranberry Lake State Campground and using the campgrounds roads is the best option for obtaining the trailhead. This will add on a bit of distance, but walking the road is fairly uneventful.
From the gate follow though the campground using the main road through the camp. After around 0.5 miles you will come to the trailhead on the left. The trailhead is rather large and not easy to miss. The trail register is right at the parking lot. Following the trail you will hike by a few campsites on the right a ways back in the woods and slowly start to gain elevation. The trail switchback through the forest, passing small rock ledges, and then comes to the top. The actual summit is slightly off the trail. If you wish you could turn back here, but the actual summit does not have any views, the views are past the summit and down the trail further.
To complete the loop, stay on the trail as it starts off quite flat and then slowly descends. The trail will continue to descend moderately to a rock viewing area where Cranberry Lake can be seen down below. This viewing area is quite a nice location, and the only viewing platform the trail will offer. The trail descends steeply in a few spots past the view before it comes to the low lands. A slight climb before a final descent will bring you back to the campground roads.
From here you will have to walk the campground roads back to your car, roughly 1.5 miles. You will be a little ways from the gate, so plan on a bit longer of a walk than you had in the beginning.
Distance Round Trip:
5.5 miles, Loop
Approximate Time Round Trip:
Families with Kids: 5 to 6 hours Loop
Experienced Snowshoers: 4 hours Loop
Out of Shape Snowshoers: 4.5 to 5 hours Loop
From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 30 in the Village of Tupper Lake follow Route 3 toward Cranberry Lake. Follow Route 3 for 25 miles to Lone Pine Road in Cranberry Lake on the left. Follow Lone Pine Road to the end at the Cranberry Lake State Campground. The gate will be closed, park out of the way near the gate.