Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower)

MODERATE 188 reviews
#9 of 177 trails in

Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower) is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Old Forge, New York 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.

DISTANCE
1.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
413 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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.

hiking
1 day ago

2 days ago

Busy but cool hike great views

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing trail! Started out simple as can be, then soon became a rock scramble up and around on bare bedrock. The tree roots growing around the bare rock looked prehistoric. I enjoyed this short hike! Gave me a good taste of longer harder fire tower hiked.

Amazing view.

hiking
13 days ago

Great refresher before going on big climbs---great for kids just starting out. Our 4yo did well!

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

This was my second firetower for the day and def the easier one of the two. A pleasant short, fun, flat slab rock scramble with views all the way up. Stopped about halfway up and had a fox come out to say hello. I could have petted it thats how close he/she came. Chilled out with me for about 30 seconds and trotted off. Made it to the top, checked out the firetower and geodetic stamp. Took quite a few pictures and a video of the fox. Was down in a little under an hour safe, sound and happy that Rondaxe was #10 on the firetower challenge checked for me. Great way to wrap up the day before a 2 hour drive home.

hiking
18 days ago

My first hiking spot. Very popular and great views from summit and tower. Great place to begin.

hiking
21 days ago

This place was busy but...The kids had a blast on this trail. Awesome views. Check out my full write up with pictures and other things to look out for.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/rondaxtower/

hiking
21 days ago

Great for beginners. nice view up top. several photo shots with lakes below.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful views of second, third, and fourth lakes at the tower.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful hike, trail decently maintained with many options around wet spots or rocks that get slippery when wet. Many spots to stop and view along the way. A family of fox do live up there by the Firetower so be respectful and also mindful when taking a pup with you. The fox are gorgeous and curious but stay away for the most part. Will hike again after trying to hike all 28 NY Firetowers.

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

8/21/17 really good hike, very short (took 40 minutes up at the most). good views and lots of people. good hike for beginners

hiking
28 days ago

As others have said the first part is a bit deceiving. It's a gentle grade on a dirt trail, but is followed by a sharp elevation change up rock and roots, then back to a grade that is not bad. The steep is not bad, but if you have little ones, it will take some care and effort. Even saw some folks in their 70s out there! There are short loops off the main that take you to rock outcroppings with amazing views along the way. View from firetower is spectacular. Get there fairly early to avoid the crowds. We arrived at 9:30 and there were 10 or so groups ahead of us. Traffic was MUCH higher on our descent, and parking lot was full (around 11:00-11:30).

My kids (7 and 8) had a blast. Mostly an easy hike, but a few tricky spots to keep things interesting. Very crowded!

hiking
1 month ago

Busy trail, even on a week day. I wouldn't say this trail was moderate, it's pretty short and easy. Mostly rock. Views of the fulton chain lakes from the top and a fire tower with a great panoramic view! Ok for dogs and kids. I wouldn't suggest doing this one on a wet day. There are some open rock areas that could get real slippery after a day of raining. Otherwise a fairly easy hike with great views.

hiking
1 month ago