I have no idea who Anthony is, but we hiked up his nose.
If you’ve ever crossed the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River in New York you have seen Anthony’s Nose. When you are coming east across the bridge it feels like the bridge is going to take you right smack into Anthony’s Nose. This “South Gate” of the Hudson Highlands has had its unique name since at least 1697, but there are at least four different versions of how it got that name. So, I still don’t really know which Anthony’s nose I really hiked.
There are two main ways up to the summit of Anthony’s Nose. The shortest, and perhaps most notable is from the Appalachian Trail. The AT crossed the Bear Mountain Bridge and climbs the side of the mountain. From what I hear this is like climbing a steep rock staircase up for a little more than a half mile before becoming more mellow. This did not appeal to me at the moment so we took the Camp Smith Trail from Route 202/6. There are two spots you can pick up the Camp Smith Trail, one at the old Toll House and the other about a mile and a half further north along 202/6. If we had more daylight I would have preferred going from the Toll House. Alas, the winter sun sets earlier so we had to go the shorter route. There is a small parking area at a nice little turn in the road with a kiosk and plenty of warning signs to keep you on the trail.
The Camp Smith Trail from this parking lot appears to be the most family friendly to reach the summit. While there are a few moderately steep sections there are plenty of looks outs to stop and rest up at. The trail was well marked, mostly with blue trail markers letting you know that you were in the Taconic Region of New York. We had come expecting snow but instead were met with mud. Our MicroSpikes hung off our bags making us sound like a horse-drawn sleigh heading up the mountain. Since we were expecting snow we both wore our winter boots and felt a little silly. Oh well, it’s good exercise, right?
The trail then cuts back into the woods some more, away from the Hudson River. At first, it seemed weird to be heading in more toward the military reservation we were told to keep away from. It wasn’t until we saw a wildlife/habitat recovery sign that we understood this detour. While the trail headed up, it was not technical. This was somewhat surprising. We’re so use to constantly dodging rocks and roots that we were able to make good time.
More overlooks and the summit of Anthony’s Nose. I would suspect in summer you can’t really see much at the actual summit. Since the leaves were off the trees we could see a little. The summit is not the real attraction anyway. Head another 200 yards past the summit and you get your Kodak Moment spot.
Step out onto the granite ledges of Anthony’s Nose and get your full view of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain Bridge, and Bear Mountain State Park. To add to the awesomeness of this view was an American flag on a long stick that was anchored down by rocks. Being only a few miles south of the United States Military Academy, West Point, this only seemed fitting. To top it off there was a bald eagle flying around. I mean really, could you get more America than this? You’re overlooking Bear Mountain State Park, the birthplace of the Appalachian Trail, your down the road from West Point, there is an American flag flying perfectly in the wind, and a bald eagle. It was so perfect I started singing “God Bless America” in my head. Ok, I’ll admit that we were headed to West Point after the hike to watch a hockey game and were wearing shirts in honor of a West Point graduate who was KIA in Iraq. It definitely added to the strong patriotic feelings.
Part of me wanted to stay and watch the sunset from this spectacular view, but it was decided that going down a new to us trail via headlamp might not be the best idea. We headed back the way we came from and reached the car before running out of daylight. Altogether we did the almost 2.5-mile hike in an hour and a half. This included our picture and video taking along the way. Next time I would like to hike from the Toll House to get a nice 6-mile hike in.
Anthony, whoever you are, thanks for letting us hike up your nose. I’m sure we’ll be back.