Hiking to Oktoberfest (no car needed)
It's officially October, that means Oktoberfest and fall foliage season! One of the key recommendations for the season is always checking out the Bear Mountain Oktoberfest event. This year they've moved the festivities to the Anthony Wayne Recreation area which is not directly next to a public transit option. That means - it's time to earn your bear and hike to Oktoberfest!
7 Steps to Hiking to Oktoberfest (no car needed)
1. Stop by Eastern Mountain Sports (or similar retailer) and pick up the NYNJ Trail Conference Harriman Trail Map set. This will help you navigate around the park and save you if you take a wrong turn.
2. Hop on the Coach USA Shortline Bus which, for $26.70, will take you from NYC straight to Bear Mountain.
3. Get on the trail: You'll be heading out on the red blazed Major Welch trail which will include a steep ascent up Bear Mountain followed immediately by some awesome views. You'll intersect the Appalachian Trail here (white blaze) and continue following the AT west down the side of Bear Mountain. And if you're interested in the "science" and history of the trail blaze check out 9 Facts about Trail Blazes You Never Knew.
4. Make your way to Oktoberfest (pay attention - lots of turns before lunch. *Remember to look this over with a map before you go!). From here you have less than 2 miles to lunch. Follow the Appalachian Trail to Seven Lakes Drive, cross the road there and then you'll see a parking lot and then the intersecting 1777 trail. Take a right and here until the trail feeds into the blue Timp Torne Trail and then immediately take the next trail juncture (white blaze) right. After a 1/4 mile on white blazed trail you'll hit Beach Bottom Road and the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area.
5. Enjoy Oktoberfest with brauts, seasonal beer and live music every weekend (Schedule here). Be responsible and hydrate with water as well - you still have quite a few miles back.
6. Burn off all of the food you just ate with a 3.5 mile hike back to Bear Mountain Inn area. You'll head back on the red "fawn" connector trail which dead ends onto the Appalachian Trail. We know that you're tired because it's after lunch so that's the only direction. Turn left on the AT and follow it all the way back past the Bear Mountain Zoo, amazing viewpoints and Hessian Lake.
7. You've made it back to your starting point and gotten in some good hiking, amazing views, and festive feasting. Hitch a ride back to NYC on the Shortline bus and call it a day. Or the best day ever.