Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain is located in the Cranberry Lake State Campground, but can be accessed via Route 3 as well for a longer hike.

Getting there

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.  

By the numbers

  • 5.5 Miles, Loop
  • Elevation: 2175’
  • Elevation Gain or Loss: 600’

Hiking

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.  

Snowshoeing

Bear Mountain is a good snowshoe option in the area.

Bear Mountain from Route 3

This is a very long alternate route to one of the larger mountains in the region. It will bring you along a forest trail to connect you with the State Campground Trail up Bear Mountain. This adds 3.6 miles to your one-way trip, but gives you an excellent walk in the woods and will extend your day if you prefer a bit of a longer, scenic route. The Bear Mountain Trail which is part of the Cranberry 50 is a very scenic hike that goes through Bear Mountain Swamp, and comes roughly 0.25 miles up the Bear Mountain trail from the State Campground. If you have the time and energy, this is a much more scenic route to the summit and view from Bear Mountain. The view is roughly 0.5 miles over the top of Bear Mountain.    

  • Getting to the Route 3 trailhead: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 30 in the Village of Tupper Lake follow Route 3 toward Cranberry Lake. Just outside of Cranberry Lake is the trailhead for Brandy Flow on the left, park here.  
  • Distance round trip from Route 3: 11.6 miles
  • Elevation grain from Route 3: 700’