Instead of trekking to the diner, how about breakfast or brunch in front of a roaring fire in a grand old Adirondack-style lodge? You can indulge this fantasy at the recently renovated 1915 stone-and-timber Bear Mountain Inn in the northern tip of Rockland County.
After a renovation, the entire inn has been given a gracious facelift that retains its awe-inspiring character, yet provides some needed updates. There’s a new spa and gift shop, the industrial-era cafeteria has been replaced with the woodsy Hiker’s Cafe, and the old public lounge on the Inn’s second floor is now the 1915 Restaurant. Next door, is the Blue Roof Tapas Bar.
The inn’s 1915 Sunday Breakfast Buffet Inn’s Sunday Breakfast is your standard-issue buffet includes the basics: scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, potatoes, muffins, bagels and very good French toast. But you gain a whole new appreciation for the basics when you’re enjoying them under the gaze of a mounted moose head in a soaring, timbered dining room with a massive stone fireplace and a panoramic view of the Hudson Valley. Breakfast is $19.15 for adults, $9.95 for kids (5-12) and includes coffee or tea, juice and choice of a mimosa,Mimosa, Bloody Mary or sparkling wine. An a la carte menu is also available.
In the winter months, more than 150 bald eagles winter in this area — especially around Iona Island — and it’s possible to spot them from the rest stop on Route 6/202, the serpentine and hilly Westchester County approach to the Bear Mountain Bridge, often referred to as the “Eagle’s Nest.”
Sunday Breakfast is served from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. It’s very popular, with lots of large groups and families, so reservations are strongly suggested. 845-786-2731, extExt. 1915. 3006 The Bear Mountain Inn, Seven Lakes Drive, Bear Mountain, http://nysparks.com/ parks/13/ Parking is $8. See a photo gallery of Bear Mountain and the inn Inn at lohud.com
There’s plenty to do before or after brunch since the 5,000-acre Bear Mountain State Park is a vertiable winter wonderland with an outdoor ice skating rink, Trailside Museum and Zoo, cross-country skiing, paved walking trails (if you’re pressed for time, do the loop around Hessian Lake) and hiking along the Appalachian Trail. Kids will love the indoor merry-go-round Merry-Go-Round and parents will appreciate its snack bar and clean bathrooms.
And this weekend, you can attend the Groundhog Day Celebration at 11 a.m. Feb. 2. Trailside Jack, the newest member in a long line of weather predicting groundhogs at Bear Mountain, will be out to predict the arrival — or nonarrival — of spring. There will be lots to do for kids, with kid-friendly crafts and games. Takes place at the merry-go-round. Bear Mountain Merry-Go-Round. Event is free; parking Free. Parking is $8 per vehicle. For more information, go to http://nysparks.com.