One of my hopes for this website is that it encourages visitors to Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks to support the businesses in the towns that encircle them.
As the state’s second-largest park, Harriman could be a sort of pivot around which the small villages surrounding the park turn, where inns, restaurants, Chambers of Commerce and the like to cater to hikers from New York City and the surrounding area.
There are a few restaurants and enough delis for a hiker to stock up before going out on the trails. There’s an ice cream stand and a farm stand. While the area right near the park could really use an outfitter, there is a small outdoors store in Sloatsburg (though it mostly caters to hunters and fisherman).
I’m not sure why the towns of Harriman and Bear Mountain haven’t embraced the park more, and the potential to serve its visitors and build their economy through outdoor active tourism.
But, here’s hoping. Maybe instead of turning to the fix-all solution of a casino at the very doorstep of this beautiful park, visionaries of the Orange and Rockland Counties’ economic development and tourism associations could take advantage of what is already right under the nose.
If you know of an area business that is particularly suited to welcoming Harriman hikers or campers, let us know, and we’ll put up a review page, with directions, hours, distance from the trailheads, etc., on MyHarriman.com.