Bear Mountain is located in the Cranberry Lake State Campground. 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 a kiosk and 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 switchbacks 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, as the 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-mile away, unless you have the option of a second car.
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. There will be a day use fee involved for this hike.
Distance Round Trip:
5.5 Miles, Loop
Elevation Gain or Loss:
Time Round Trip:
Family with Young Kids: 4 to 5 hours
Experienced Hiker: 2 to 3 hours
Out of Shape Hiker: 4 to 5 hours