Trailside Museums & Zoo

At Bear Mountain State Park

The Museums

Herpetology Museum
Herpetology Museum

The Museums

There are four museums at Trailside. The Herpetology House is home to a variety of native turtles, snakes, frogs, toads, salamanders and skinks as well as many species of fish.  The Nature Study Museum houses specimens originally collected by the Museum of Natural History to educate people about animal identification. Visitors can learn about geologic formations of the Hudson Highlands and industries that have tapped natural resources in the Geology Museum.  The History Museum provides an introduction to human occupation of the region from the earliest Native American settlers to European and their desendants who made the area their home.

Native American Exhibits
photo:Dorice Arden

Native American History in the Park       Beyond the museums, learn more about the prehistory of Native Americans who resided in and around Bear Mountain by reading Edward J. Lenik’s book Lost Arrowheads and Broken Pottery.  For many decades, archeaologist Lenik has excavated Native American sites and interpreted Indian cultural history in the Bear Mountain area, including Fort Montgomery, Fort Clinton, Wanakawaghkin (Iona Island), Dunderberg Mountain and Doodletown.  Lenik’s book and others about natural and human history of the region are available at the Palisades Visitor Center Bookstore located on the Palisades Interstate Parkway between Exits 16 and 17.

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