Route 9W, Bear Mountain State Park, Stony Point, Rockland County, NY


From NYC go north on the Palisades Parkway about 40 miles toward Bear Mountain Bridge. Take 9W south at the traffic circle, passing Bear Mountain Inn. Iona Marsh is 1 mile south of the Bear Mountain Bridge. Park along Route 9W north and south of the entrance for Iona Island.


The Cornell Mine was located along the northern slope and top of Bald Mountain. What remains are open pits, trenches and shafts.

1769 -- King George III grants a 3,000 acre tract of land to William Kempe, James Lamb, and John Crum.

prior to 1859 -- the upper two mine openings were dug.

1874 -- at this time Minerva Herbert owned a 175 acre parcel of the original tract (including Bald Mountain). Minerva leased her land for 20 years to Alexander Phyfe of New York City.

1884 -- the tract of land is called the Kempe Patent of Pellatreau's Rockland County patent map.

1885 -- Thomas Cornell of Kingston, New York acquires the lease rights to mine iron ore here. (A Mr. Baldwin operates the mine.)

1885-1890 -- the lower pits were dug.

1890 -- the Cornell Mine ceased operation. The property was sold to William B. Tramaine.

1890 -- Thomas Alva Edison acquired 198 acres, including the northeast side of Bald Mountain below 500 feet elevation, and started the Edison Mine.

1893 -- David B. Sickels purchased the main Bald Mountain property.

Source: Lenik, 1996: 132-135.


November 2, 2003. My friend Phil Chandler Duckett guided me to the top of Bald Mountain from which there is a magnificent view of the Hudson Valley. The blue-blazed Cornell Mine Trail begins at the south end of the abutment for the unobtrusive bridge over the stream heading down from Doodletown Reservoir. There is a somewhat steep incline up to the trail heading alongside the stream originating from Doodletown Reservoir. There are several waterfalls along the way that are very picturesque. The trail turns away from the stream and starts to climb. The trail goes through a relatively flat area before its begins a rather steep ascent (climbing 670 vertical feet in 0.4 of a mile). Near the top of Bald Mountain the Cornell Mine Trail ends at the intersection with the red dot on white blaze Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. (Here there is a small exploratory mining pit.) Turn right and follow the trail. (When the trail bears left, leave the trail continuing straight ahead for about 150 feet to see a five by five feet cut into the hillside on the left. Above this is an open pit twenty feet in diameter. Return to the trail.) Continue for a short distance to the top of Bald Mountain. From the top there is a view of Iona Island, Anthony's Nose, the Bear Mountain Bridge, Bear Mountain Inn and parking area, the tower on the top of Bear Mountain itself and West Point in the distance. The day was a warm one and there were many people on top of the mountain when we arrived. (At the top of the mountain there is a 13 foot diameter mine shaft.)

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = blooming on November 2, 2003

Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Aralia spinosa (Hercules club)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen; checkerberry)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) *
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) *
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod) * ?
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)

Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)

Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)