Black Bear Mountain
The trailhead for Black Bear Mountain is just off NY 28 between Inlet and Eagle Bay, north of Old Forge. It is also the trailhead for Rocky Mountain, a short steep climb to good views of the Inlet area of Fourth Lake. The trailhead parking appears to be on a short section of an old abandoned highway.
The trail up Black Bear starts at the end of the old road / parking lot nearest Inlet. There are two routes up Black Bear, the shorter, but steeper route of 1.9 miles and the longer but muddier route of 3.1 miles. There is another trailhead on Uncas Road that isn't as steep but is 2.2 miles to the summit.
From the NY 28 trailhead, follow the yellow discs on a well used trail. At 0.7 miles reach a "Y" junction of two yellow trails and veer right. Soon the trail is marked with blue discs. Great views await on the summit of Black Bear Mountain. There are some steep sections. This hike is 1.9 miles one way to the summit (3.8 miles round trip). There is an elevation change of almost 700 feet on this hike.
The first 0.7 mile section of the trail is common to both routes and has generally very good footing and very little ascent. The intersection where the two routes meet is not well marked but the trail up the short way bears right at that point, and the trail in that direction is well worn. The longer route continues straight ahead on a fainter path.
There are a few steep sections on this hike, including a section of trail that climbs a 10-12 foot cliff that your dogs may not be able to handle. Another steep section climbs open rock as you make your way toward the summit. The summit has a large open area and great views both down toward the chain of lakes and to the northeast toward the High Peaks. Be sure to bring a picnic to enjoy on the summit.
The trailhead is off NY 28 between Eagle Bay and Inlet, NY; north of Old Forge. There are two other hikes close by. The trail to Rocky Mountain is at the same trailhead.