Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower)

MODERATE 274 reviews
#4 of 185 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Love this hike. Dislike the crowds.

hiking
7 days ago

This hike is not long or difficult but is a little challenging. Some definite climbing on rock and do not ever try hike without proper footwear especially if it’s wet. The trail can be a little confusing at times and you will really need to look for the markers. Some stepper rock climbs in the middle of the trail. The really nice thing about the hike is the sneak peak views you get of the lakes while climbing to the top. Of course the best view is saved for last and the tower is open.

8 days ago

Great hike for all ages and pups as well! Very easy and short hike. Great for beginners.

hiking
15 days ago

Nice hike for the family. For us, it was easy- not something I’d remark as moderate- as we do a great deal of hikes. We checked in early to beat the rush. It’s a popular hike, especially during peak season. Our son loved it. Had no issues making our way to the fire tower and back in a reasonable amount of time. Going up we passed no one, however coming down we passed so many! If you want to beat the crowd, definitely get there early.

18 days ago

Nice easy trail for family

hiking
21 days ago

Nice easy hike with wonderful views from the summit and tower.

22 days ago

Awesome hike! I suggest you go early bald mountain is very popular! Beautiful view from the fire tower

hiking
28 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
1 month ago

Easy hike if you are en experienced hiker. We saw a lot of people at this heavily hiked mountain who were not experienced, and thought it was hard. So if you are out of shape or not experienced, dont expect this to be a flat, simple walk. It has a couple of steep spots and is rocky, and spectacular views at the top and at several rock outcroppings before the summit.

1 month ago

Very very easy hike ! Great views and the tower is in pretty good shape.
Perfect for families and beginners
Lots of rocks and somewhat steep areas but more fun than difficult
Black flies were terrible so come prepared !

steeper than expected ..but so glad I did it .. gorgeous view!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful short hike for the family. We went in the evening and watched the sunset from the firetower. Someone had set up a large telescope on the peak, and invited us to stay and use it. We ended up staying there until midnight looking at stars, mars jupiter saturn and pluto in the perfectly clear sky. Thank you, telescope man. It was awesome!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful view.

1 month ago

Beautiful views at the fire tower.

1 month ago

Been there numerous times and the view is amazing. Best to go on a good clear day to really get a great view! Some spots are more difficult with steep climbs, but is kid friendly just keep them near as when you get to the top as steep drop offs are near.

1 month ago

Hiked with a 3 yo and had my 1 yo on my back. Steep in some parts, but a good workout and climb! 3 yo was tired at the end but loved it! Husband was there to help him but encouraged him to try on his own and he did it! You need to be more cautious going down if you have a baby on your back, but it is totally doable. Climb down backwards if you need in the steep parts. Slow and steady wins the race :)

1 month ago

great hike... nice bouldering.. beautiful view

1 month ago

more difficult than expected but worth the hike. this is the first fire tower I've been to. great view.

hiking
1 month ago

Have taken this trail multiple times in the past. Makes for a great quick bit of exercise with a great view at the top with the fire tower. Viewpoints throughout the trail! Great to do with friends/family.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing view from the fire tower! We made the hike with three kids and our Pomeranian. The trail was well maintained, with little mud and pretty easy for our group.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Nice hike for our three kids, 12, 10 & 10. No mud at all. Few steep spots but nothing in comparison to other moderate hikes we’ve done nearby. Fairly easy. Great views!!

hiking
2 months ago

This easy hike is perfect for beginners! I hiked Bald Mtn several times during the summer, fall and winter. Good for snowshoeing too.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Took us 51 minutes to complete the whole hike... we tracked it and it was 1.94 miles from start to finish (with all the extra walking we did for pictures). It also took us longer that normal because brought both our dogs and stopped a few times to let them drink water. It definitely it’s a quick incline, but such a great and quick hike with beautiful views! The fire tower is awesome too, if you’re not terrified of heights (like I am)!

2 months ago

Only not a 5 because it was raining and we didn’t get to see the amazing views since we were up in the cloud. But it was a very fun hike

hiking
2 months ago

This is our first mtn with the family. We were able able to do this trail very easily. It was really fun and beautiful! The fire tower at the top was a super cool bonus for pictures. The 5 of us (2 adults, a 9 year old and 2, 12 year olds) did this hike up and back in 2 hours, stoping often for pictures.

2 months ago

awsome trail full of Rocky pathway fun to jump and skip around. great views dog friendly.

hiking
2 months ago

Steep in some spots but very manageable. View was great from the top of the tower!

2 months ago

very fun, steep and a little tricky at certain points, but very manageable.

2 months ago

Awesome little hike with the family

3 months 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.

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