More than 30 hikers, ranging in age from 10 to 80, joined our Bear Mountain Hike to Oktoberfest this year in the beautiful Hudson River Valley of New York. The autumn air was cool and crisp to start the day, but we quickly warmed up as the sun rose in the sky and we ascended the southwest slope of Bear Mountain.
The first mile of the route wandered over minor knolls, as hike organizers Donna Chapman and Martin Hunley led us through varying woodlands and magnificent boulder fields.
Soon, the trail angled up and we began to gain elevation.
As the climb began in earnest, each foot step up the trail, sometimes over hand-hewn stone steps that had been carefully laid by trail volunteers, yielded more expansive and colorful vistas.
By the time all 33 of us reached the summit around noon and paused to take a group picture, we had forged new friendships, renewed older ones, and shared the camaraderie that comes from reaching the top together. The Oktoberfest celebration at the bottom, with German food, music and refreshments, was the icing on the cake.
We all hike for our own reasons, but on this day we shared some common reasons – to enjoy the beauty of the Trail, to honor those living with mental illness, and to raise money to fund HIKE for Mental Health operations. With the support of our donors and sponsors, we raised more than $4,700. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!
It was all so much fun. We are already planning for next year’s hike.
You know it was a great day when the hikers contributed more than 300 photographs to the photo gallery! Thanks to Donna, Martin, Kedie, Pat, Brandon and everyone else who submitted pictures from the hike.
Click on the thumbnails to see full-size versions.