Elevation: ~2,320 feet
Owner: State of CT
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Entrance Fee: N/A
Highest Peak in CT
The Appalachian Trail
Bear Mountain represents the highest summit in Connecticut, climbing to an elevation of over 2320 feet and offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes. Vistas from the top of Bear Mountain include New York to the west and Massachusetts to the north, as well as panoramic scenes of rural Salisbury, Connecticut to the east and south. Although the mountain is not designated as a Connecticut state park, it is nonetheless protected as a corridor of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail which passes directly over its peak. Other trails, such as “Undermountain Trail” and “Paradise Lane”, meander around base and slopes of Bear Mountain, ensuring that visiting hikers will find no shortage of footpaths. It is worth mentioning that, although Bear Mountain offers the highest peak in Connecticut, it is not the highest overall point; that superlative goes to nearby Mount Frissel. Mount Frissel’s peak is in Massachusetts, but the highest portion of the southern slope that straddles the Connecticut border is roughly 50 feet taller than Bear Mountain’s summit.
(NOTE: The trail distance of 6.5 miles begins at Undermountain Trail; follows Undermountain Trail to Paradise Lane; proceeds to the end of Paradise Lane, then picks up with A/T heading south; climbs over and then descends Bear Mountain on the A/T; then heads back to the trailhead on the Undermountain Trail once again)
“Undermountain Trail”, accessible from the location shown below off of Under Mountain Road, is one of the most commonly used paths to reach the Bear Mountain summit.
browse our photos
read about it
“On May 9, 2011 a wildfire broke out near the Appalachian Trail just a few miles south of Bear Mountain in Salisbury, Connecticut.”
If you’re interested in exploring trails outside of Connecticut, Bear Mountain is an excellent launching point! New York’s Taconic State Park abuts the Connecticut border only a few miles west of Bear Mountain, and includes roughly 16 miles of varied terrain and extensive hiking trails. After a very short drive over the border, you can enjoy the natural landscapes of two states in one day!
Hike Bear Mountain: CT’s Highest Peak
Connecticut Weekender (CTWEEKENDER.COM)
Appalachian Trail: Salisbury to Bear Mountain
Hiking Bear Mountain
Appalachian Mountain Club (OUTDOORS.ORG)
Mountain Summits (MOUNTAINSUMMITS.COM)