Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower)

MODERATE 78 reviews
#8 of 175 trails in

Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower) is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Old Forge, NY that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.7 miles 400 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

blowdown

muddy

rocky

The total distance to hike to the summit of Bald Mountain is just under a mile and the ascent is about 500 feet to reach the 2350 foot summit. The start of the hike is a deceptively easy walk in the woods, but fairly soon you come to the steepest section where you climb a widely eroded trail up onto the top of the descending ridge. Soon after you begin to top out you come to the first of several intermediate view points. After that the trail follows the spine of the ridge with a few minor ups and downs. This ridge top trail is over bed rock much of the way, and portions of that bed rock are relatively pointed little ridgettes with less that a foot wide path on the top. For those who find this psychologically uncomfortable, there are herd paths down in the woods by which you can skirt the most challenging sections. The Rondaxe Fire Tower, located on the summit, has been restored so that you can climb up for the best views. The summit area is open, quite long and can easily accommodate a large number of hikers. Don't expect to be alone during this nearly two mile round trip hike, as it is a very popular hike. There are fantastic views from the fire tower, but also from the many view points along the trail. You don't need to climb the fire tower to enjoy the views.

7 days ago

Beautiful, quick 4th of July hike. Heavily trafficked but very easily manageable for anyone in moderately fit shape. If you're looking for something challenging this isn't it, but it's certainly beautiful.

24 days ago

Quick hike which is great for these short fall days
It's a nice slow steady climb but some of the terrain is a bit more difficult than I expected. There was a little ice and mud on the trail but proper foot ware makes that a non event.
I will say it was worth the 2.5 hour ride from Albany and the view was fantastic.

hiking
1 month ago

Very slippery. I had a great time. The wife was a little worried about slipping.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous views!

1 month ago

Amazing view!!!! My only complaint is how crowded the hike was... we did it today (a Wednesday during off season) and it was packed, I can't imagine how popular it is during the busy season. I would rank as easy-moderate. Some parts are scary due to tight paths with big drops, but it seemed like it would be easy to bypass this if necessary.

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

great family hike

2 months ago

2 months ago

Did not find this trail as easy. It will be an easy trail for most people in decent shape, their is a fair amount of up hill hiking over rocks. I could not make it the entire way with my special needs son. We passed another couple who had a fear of heights that turned back before climbing the rocks.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike for the whole family with a great view from atop the fire tower.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike. Saw people of all ages, and many dogs. I imagine we lucked out with a cooler day! Leaves already starting to change... Peace!

3 months ago

Love this mountain! the water tower is so fun!

3 months ago

This trail gets 2 stars for being easy and having a great view. It loses 3 stars for being horribly marked. There are areas where the trail forks and no indication on which way you should go.

3 months ago

Beautiful views at the top and at many points in the way there! The tower at the top is a unique touch.

3 months ago

Gorgeous views from the top...as well as mid way up. Definitely worth doing this hike. I would rate this more of a moderate hike though due to the large borders you are hiking on almost the whole way. Also, my hike tracker said it was a 971 elevation gain...not in the 300 range it stated. If you take it slower anyone can hike this trail...

hiking
3 months ago

It was ourfirst time. I wouldn't say it was easy, but we made it to the top for the beautiful view. And are planning our next hike.

3 months ago