Major Welch Series #4: Over the Top
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The Major Welch trail is named for Major William A. Welch, the first General Manager of the Palisades Interstate Park. He helped found the Palisades Interstate Trail Conference (which later became the NY-NJ Trail Conference) and served as the chair of the Appalachian Trail Conference.
The trail begins behind the Bear Mountain Inn on the western side of Hessian Lake(red circle on white blaze). It follows the western shore of the lake along a paved path for almost .5 miles then turns uphill on a rocky trail. It climbs steeply to the summit of Bear Mountain, and then descends to Perkins Drive where it meets the Appalachian Trail. The best way to complete this series is to start at the Inn and follow the Major Welch trail to the Appalachian Trail then follow the AT back up and over the summit to return to the Inn. If you have two cars and Perkins Drive is open, you can leave one car at the Perkins Tower and shorten your hike. This cache is easily accessible from the parking area at Perkins Tower but it is only open seasonally. During the winter months you can add a star and a half to the terrain rating.
The cache is a small 2x4 inch Lock and Lock container. Due to NYS Parks regulations, the cache is hidden only a few feet off the trail. Watch out for muggles when retrieving the cache and rehide it as you found it.
Park at the Perkins Tower (open seasonally) N 41 18.721 W 074 00.419 or at the Bear Mountain Inn (fee charged on weekends in in the summertime) N 41 18.747 W 073 59.341.
NYS Parks Permit # BM07-03
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum