None of the older texts about the Highlands give this spelling of Bear Mountain although the mountain top is a rocky area and so it is understandable why Wade might have thought it was spelled Bare. Edgar Mayhew Bacon in The Hudson River From Ocean to Source suggests that it was probably called Bear Mountain because of the number of bears found on the mountain when it was first settled. Frances Dunwell in The Hudson River Highlands mentions that Beverly Robinson was able to assist the British troops in their attack upon Forts Montgomery and Clinton because he had hunted on Bear Mountain when he was a boy.
In 1909 the State of New York proposed to move Sing Sing prison to Bear Mountain. When George Perkins and Edward Harriman heard of the plan, they drew up a proposal which eventually extended the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to include Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park. Construction of the prison was halted and an extensive park area was opened. Today the park continues in its original purpose: to maintain the area's natural beauty while providing open space and recreation areas for people from nearby cities.