Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower)

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Fulton Chain Wild Forest

Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower) is a 2 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 best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.0 miles Elevation Gain: 416 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

muddy

rocky

NOTE: As of May 27, 2020, users have reported that the Fire tower is currently closed. 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 leads over bedrock much of the way, and portions of that bedrock are relatively pointed little ridges with less than a foot wide path on the top. For those who find this 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 very popular. There are fantastic views from the fire tower and also from the many view points along the trail.

hiking
bugs
3 days ago

Short hike but beautiful views. Fire tower is currently closed due to the pandemic. We got there around 8:40am this last Saturday and there was still a decent amount of parking but I imagine the lot would fill up quickly.

hiking
3 days ago

Nice challenging trail with great views. Not too crowded and very clean. Would go again!

hiking
9 days ago

Short trail with beautiful views. Usually lots of traffic

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

It’s a steep hike in spots but plenty of shade and great views. Loved it.

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely disgusting. This summit has been littered with so much trash it looks like a dump. Spray paint graffiti on the rocks, moldy orange peels and clif bar wrappers everywhere. Even a dirty diaper casually thrown in the bushes next to the trail. The mountain isn't yours, leave no trace so the rest of us can enjoy it too.

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Absolutely beautiful, easy walk. Short steep jump up to start then a very easy walk up the rest of the way with gorgeous views every tenth or so. My dog did it easily. Barely any mud.

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
26 days ago

Great trail, rocks were slippery on the way down. Lots of people on the trail today.

hiking
1 month ago

Short hike with great views. Too many people to enjoy the summit however, I would rather find a less popular hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Very accessible to many different types of hikers. Which is also this trails problem. Over the course of the hike I filled two bags of trash along the trail, a lot of discarded doggy bags at the base, top, and along the trail. People smoking at the top, music and picnics going. Trail could use an etiquette guide at the base.

hiking
1 month ago

if this trail had a waterfall it would have it all. this is one of them most tremendous trails under 2 miles have seen. what are you waiting for? stop reading and go. get out of here and enjoy. :)

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Wife and I pounded this out in under an hour to catch sunset. Great quik little trail ...maybe best bang for buck. Just like Blue mountain hike earlier many people not hiking utilizing safety. On the way out we noticed 5 people going up at dark unproperly prepared. When I asked the guy if they had lights he asked the rest of the group if their cell phones worked. Once again only a 2 mile hike in and out but if your not familiar with trail with no lights it can become dangerous very fast.

hiking
1 month ago

Great conditions!

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Practiced social distancing while being mindful of the newly thawed trails. Happy Easter!

hiking
icy
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Awesome views!!

A little touristy

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

Great, easy, fast trail. Awesome conditions today. It’s a haul though just for a 2 mile hike as part of the Adk6pack. Glad we could hit it on the way back from the Spartan Greek Peak race.

hiking
3 months 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. eastcoasthiker.com/trails/rondaxtower/

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Great trail for snow shoes or spikes in the winter snow. Trail was mostly packed down snow from other snow shoe passages, but we felt that the snow shoes were necessary for climbing and descending the hilly parts. Be sure to stay on the packed trail by the ridges otherwise you may slip your ass down the mountain when stepping in the soft snow hiding the edge.

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