Tom and I took the girls to Bear Mountain State Park, something I've been wanting to do since we got here. It was a lovely day so out came the bug spray and the map and we were off. Our first stop (after getting a few extra maps) was the playground. It was so lovely right on the water. The kids couldn't get over how many people were fishing (Hessian Lake is fishing and rowboats only).
After a bit of fun there we headed on the trail to take us to the Zoo and the Trailside Museums. It was a nice walk...lots of shade, lots of people but there was so much room it didn't feel all that crowded. We had to go though a tunnel under the road and we walked past a big huge beach entry pool! It's not open for a few weeks still but that is going to be some good times. I forgot to mention the snake we saw just off the path...Emma screamed but it was all good. Just past the pool was the entrance to the zoo. When I say entrance, I mean a box that says "one dollar donation per person suggested." So we put our money in the slot and began our walk. The Trailside museums were these plaquards everywhere describing trees, animals, and other information about Bear Mountain. Emma loved reading them and Mary actually kept asking her to read more. The zoo is really small...but cool. Almost all of the animals were raised in captivity or injured. In fact, by each animal it said, if applicable, how the animal was hurt. Most of them were car and gunshot wound. In the zoo we saw porcupines, a bobcat, coyotes, foxes, bears (3 of them!) all kinds of frogs and snakes, an otter, owls, turkey vultures, and a bald eagle. Man is that bird beautiful. This one has a permament wing injury and can no longer fly. It makes me so sad to see that amazing bird, so powerful and grounded.
One nifty little sidenote, the Bear Mountain Zoo is actually on the Appalachian trail which is marked by a white rectangle. In fact, the Bear Den at Bear Mountain Zoo is the lower point on the whole 2000 mile trail (120 feet above sea level). I have photographic evidence to prove it but I won't trouble you all with it.
After walking the trail, we ate lunch at an awesome snack bar and rode on the lovely indoor Merry-Go-Round. Emma rode the bear but Mary insisted on a horse. Then the girls ate those crazy huge rocket popsicles and it was back to the car.
The last thing we did was drive up to Perkins Memorial and seeing the Hudson from the top of the mountain from this huge tower. Then we headed back down. By this time Emma had passed out in the car and Mary was close. Such a fun day. Highly recommended!