Bear Island is located just downstream of Great Falls. It is co-owned by the Nature Conservancy and is most famous for the Billy Goat Trail, the rugged 1.7 mile trail on top of Mather Gorge. In many places, it is more of a rock scramble than a traditional hike, so be prepared with sturdy footwear and plenty of water. Please stay on the trail, like Olmsted Island, Bear Island is one of the most biologically diverse places in the country. Many rare and endangered species live of the island. With as much use as it gets, people going off trail cause significant trampling of rare plants and habitat loss.
Photo Credit: National Park Service