Last weekend, some friends and I explored a portion of Bear Mountain I’d never hiked before: the Doodletown Trail. This trail is a bit out of the way, and thus less crowded than most of the other areas at Bear Mountain State Park. If you’re super anti-social like us, it’s worth checking out.
Doodletown has an interesting history I’d never heard of before. An isolated community once resided there, and you can see the remains of their homes as you follow the trail. There also used to be remnants of the Protestant church they attended, but this area has since been demolished and blocked off for safety reasons. Plaques line the walkway, if you’re interested in learning about the people who once lived in the area and their daily routines.
To add some creepy factor (and I’m a big fan of the creepy factor), there are also two cemeteries along the Doodletown Trail. The first one is older and overgrown, with aged tombstones that date back to the 1800s. The second cemetery is technically off limits to hikers, as there are more recent burials and the place is more maintained. From the second cemetery, though, there’s a great view of the dam that sits next to it. Not that I’d know. Because it’s off limits, you guys.
This trail is pretty moderate in terms of difficulty. The incline is a gradual one, and you don’t hike upward towards an overlook or anything. Though we did go off the road and find quite a nice view from the street! I’d still recommend this trail, especially if you’re looking for an easy day of wandering or enjoy learning the historical significance of places. It was a fun hike, and you can always veer off and do the other Bear Mountain trails after if you’re looking for more.