West Mountain
Bear Mountain State Park, Rockland County, NY


U.S. 287 west to the Palisades Interstate Parkway and exit at Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, just south of the intersection with Route 6 east and west. Park near the first entrance on the right to the parking lot.


The Beechy Bottom Brook heads north along the western edge of the parking area of the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area and into Queensboro Lake.  The waters then flow northeast to join the Popolopen Brook and the waters then flow to the Popolopen Creek that empties eastward to the Hudson River.

Waters also from West Mountain flow downhill to Doodletown Brook and on into Salisbury Meadow on the western side of Iona Island on the Hudson River.


This is one of the favorite walks of my buddy Phil Duckett, who has hiked Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks for decades. Walked out of the parking lot and turned left and head past a stand of Phragmites on the right to get to the path with a gate on it. Walked up the path picking up the white square trail and later picked up the blue-blazed trail heading up the ridge of West Mountain. Found larch on top of the ridge, along with a two-needled pine. The ascent is not strenuous, but there are some interesting tricky areas of close fits and some short steep steps up or down. We only went to the top, at the intersection with the Appalachian Trail. Coming back we turned left onto the downhill double F trail (the Fawn Trail) to hook up again with the white square trail at the bottom of West mountain.

From the ridge there are great views of the surrounding area: the tower on Bear Mountain, the Peekskill area, the Anthony Wayne two huge parking areas, the Palisades Interstate Parkway, Route 6 and Queensboro circle, etc.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and Philip Duckett
* = 8/06/02, date plant found in bloom

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fagus americana (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix sp. (larch)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus resinosa (red pine)? 2-needled, 4-inches long; no cones available, or mature bark
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Gaultheria procumbens (teaberry)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Rubus sp. (dewberry)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet) *
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush) *
Vaccinium angustifolium (low-bush blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)

Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape

Achillea millefolium (yarrow) *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium lappa (great burdock)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) *
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Conopholis americana (squawroot)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Desmodium paniculatum (panicled tick trefoil) *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed) *
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed)
Hypericum gentianoides (orange grass) *
Inula helenium (elecampane) *
Lespedeza sp. (bush clover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia) *
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) *
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)*
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil) *
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow-leaved mountain mint) *
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) *
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) *
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spike rush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)

Elymus hystrix (bottle brush grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Danthonia sp. (poverty grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye grass)
Glyceria striata (meadow mannagrass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Phragmites australis (common reed grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail))
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

haircap moss
reindeer lichen
rocktripe lichen