Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower)

MODERATE 229 reviews
#4 of 183 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
383 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.

21 hours ago

Awesome little hike with the family

12 days ago

Did it with my daughter and a school field trip. Had fun. Was challenging for an older guy like me. My daughter and her friends barely broke a sweat.

12 days ago

Very easy and short hike with decent views. Easy for the you kids and small pups.

hiking
12 days ago

Challenging but not crazy — really nice way to spend Mother’s Day with my teens.

hiking
18 days ago

Pretty easy incline with a great view!

hiking
3 months ago

this trail is a great little trail. there are so many rewards that is great for family of all ages. pets too. i love this trail. the rocks, trees, roots climbing every where. overlooks and all this before you get to the top. if you are looking for a easy fun trail this is the one. A MUST DO!!!!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Steep portions have turned icy with the brief thaw/freeze. Micro-spikes worked fine on the way up, switched to crampons for the descent. Enjoyable hike. Summit was bare (no snow/ice). Had the mountain to myself until the return trip when I passed 2 other hikers.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike! Snowy day! The trail is getting icy so bring crampons or micro spikes. You can do the hike without them but they obviously will help a ton. Enjoy.

hiking
6 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.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/rondaxtower/

6 months ago

One of the best hikes I’ve taken in a long time, regardless of the trail’s traffic. Bald Mountain is full of surprises that reveal themselves at a perfect pace. One caution - it’s steeper than you think and includes some challenging scrambles. We tried it as a family hike. It is not that. But those of us who carried on were very pleased.

hiking
6 months ago

This isn’t a long, hard hike but definitely has some challenges for beginners! There are parts where you’re hiking up rock and balancing on them too. It was very busy when we went but everyone was courteous and friendly! Beautiful view form the fire tower!!

7 months ago

Wonderful view. Good hike up.

7 months ago

This was the first one I did with my 14 yr old dtr, we loved it!

7 months ago

adk firetower challenge
Fulton chain trifecta

7 months ago

Fantastic. Just challenging enough w striking views at the top. One if the nicest trails around the Fulton chain. View is 100% worth the climb.

hiking
7 months ago

Okay, I love this trail... I do. But, it gets crowded. It’s brief, it’s scenic and for those who like balancing beams — that last bit toward the peak is nothing but, boulders— it’s a lot of fun. I enjoyed this brief hike, having lunch at the peak, and looking at the gorgeous views. Is it moderate?? Yes, is some parts, but, if you’re looking to challenge yourself, you may want a longer trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail, even with 5 and 9 year old boys with us. Not too difficult, good distance for kids and beautiful view at the top.

hiking
7 months ago

Loved it!

hiking
7 months ago

love this hike quick and easy, brought our Frenchie this year she handled the trail easily.

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely fantastic hike! It was very busy but it was great! Our favorite hike thus far! The views were outstanding and it was fun scrambling up the rocks! Very kid friendly! Looking for a quick hike with a HUGE reward! This is the one!

7 months ago

Easy hike and beautiful views but can be crowded at times.

7 months ago

Been hiking this trail since birth. It's a easy hike now that I'm older and this is a good hike for someone who might not hike as much.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike where the trail is almost all rock. Nice views and tower to climb. Really enjoyed, but can be very crowded.

hiking
8 months ago

Great moderate trail with amazing views throughout. There’s also a very friendly fox that likes to hang out by the fire tower.

8 months ago

Busy but cool hike great views

hiking
8 months 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.

8 months ago

Amazing view.

hiking
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months 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
8 months ago

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

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