HIKE for Mental Health

Share the joy of hiking. Bring hope to those battling mental illness.

Share the joy of hiking; bring hope to those battling mental illness.


Bear Mountain Oktoberfest Hike

October 16, 2016 • Bear Mountain Inn • Highland Falls, NY

Perkins Memorial at the summit of Bear Mountain
Perkins Memorial at the summit of Bear Mountain
Dramatic views of the Hudson River Valley and Bear Mountain Bridge...
An amazing climb on hand-hewn granite steps...
Brats, sauerkraut, alp-horns, polka music, and more at the end...

These are just a few of the attractions of the three-hour Bear Mountain Oktoberfest hike near Highland Falls, NY.

This hike encompasses what many believe is the best section for the Appalachian Trail in the tri-state area. We will meet at the Bear Mountain Inn parking lot, do a quick car shuttle to the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area. From there, we will hike across to the Seven Lakes Drive parking lot and follow the Appalachian Trail on its gradual ascent to the summit of Bear Mountain. Along the way we climb steps on the back side of the mountain and enjoy wonderful views as we walk on the oldest section of the AT. Just before the summit, we will see beautiful views of the Hudson River and walk on one of the few wheelchair accessible parts of the trail. At the summit, we can climb the tower for 360 degree views.  On the decent we will hike on newly set granite steps and arrive back at the Inn in time to car-shuttle back to the Anthony Wayne Rec Area in time for the opening of Oktoberfest.  

A fun day that offers something for everyone, this hike is a great way to meet new friends, enjoy the natural beauty of Bear Mountain, and hike on a stretch of the oldest long-distance trail in America.

Registration Is Free

Amazing stone steps set into Bear Mountain
Amazing stone steps set into Bear Mountain.

Instead of charging a fee, we ask your help raising funds for mental health research and trail maintenance.

It's fast and easy! When you register, you will be able to personalize a sponsorship page and share it through email and your favorite social media such as Facebook or Instagram. How does it work?  

Every little bit helps, and there is no minimum to raise – we just ask that you help us spread the word, then come join us on the trail.

HIKE for Mental Health quick-dry shirtOur quick-dry shirts look and feel great, on or off the trail.

Every registered hiker who raises at least $100 will receive a HIKE for Mental Health shirt as a token of our appreciation.

Available in unisex brown or womens orange. SMALL – XXL.

When you register, we will ask your size and color preference. Once you hit $100 in donations to your sponsorship page, we will get your shirt to you.

If you hit the $100 mark by a week before the hike, your hike leader will have your shirt on hike day. Otherewise, we will mail it to you.

So help us raise money and awareness for this great cause.

For a Good Cause

Alphorns at Bear Mountain Oktoberfest
Alp-horns at Bear Mountain Oktoberfest

HIKE for Mental Health is an all-volunteer organization.

While all our other hikes throughout the year support our mission causes, the Bear Mountain hike is our one event that helps offset the costs of running HIKE for Mental Health.

We fund our operating costs largely out of our own pockets, but as we have grown, so too have the expenses. We still contribute thousands of dollars of our money, but we need a little help to keep growing.

For example, when we receive a $100 credit card donation, the credit card processing service keeps about $3. We get $97. But we make that amount whole so that $100 goes to our mission.

We also have expenses for maintaining our website, printing flyers, maintaining liability insurance, buying shirts and bandanas, etc. We are all volunteers so no money goes to anyone connected with HIKE for Mental Health.

So we hope you will sign up and ask your friends to sponsor you. The money all goes for a great cause. You can see more details about our funding and expenses in our 990 financial filing with the IRS.

Hike Details

Location: Bear Mountain Inn, Highland Falls, NY
Date: October 16, 2016
Time: Approx. 8 AM-3PM. Exact times and locations will be provided to registered hikers only.
Distance: 6.1 miles
Difficulty level: Moderate to strenuous. Climbing the 800 granite steps is well worth the effort!
Suitable for beginners? Absolutely! A great hike for beginners who are active and can readily climb 3 flights of stairs and still be smiling.
Sponsorship amount: The hike goal is $3,000. There is no minimum required to join the hike, but if every hiker raised $200, we would get very close to our goal.
Free shirt: Hikers who raise $100 or more will receive a HIKE for Mental Health quick-dry hiking shirt.
Free gear: Lightheart Gear, Leki Trekking Poles, Vasque Footwear, and other top-quality manufacturers will donate a package of gear worth more than $1,000 to the hiker who raises the most in 2016! Learn more.
Hike director: Tom KennedyAvid hikers and frequent trail angels, Donna Chapman and Martin Hunley are also volunteer-maintainers of the Wiley Shelter on the Appalachian Trail in Pawling, NY. They are fantastic photographers, and have generously contributed many of the hike photos on the HIKE for Mental Health website. Donna is also the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community Ambassador and was featured in the Appalachian Trail Journey's quarterly magazine.
The Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge viewed from Bear Mountain
The Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge viewed from Bear Mountain

Trail Map

Every HIKE for Mental Health is an opportunity to:

  • get away from the hustle and bustle of work-a-day life and enjoy the beauty of Nature
  • renew old friendships and make new ones
  • have a really good time hiking together
  • combat the stigma of mental illness
  • discover your new favorite get-away
  • raise money for a good cause

If that appeals to you, come on out and join us.

If you have additional questions you can:

Go to Schedule of Hikes

View from the summit of Bear Mountain

View from the summit of Bear Mountain