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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.

Length 2.0 mi Elevation gain 416 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Muddy

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (4)
Facilities
Getting There

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.

The parking has been expanded to accommodate the heavy use.

North of Old Forge off NY RT 28, turn left on Rondaxe Road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (748)
Photos (617)
Recordings (455)
Completed (1625)
Abigail Dwyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingRocky

Awesome hike. This trail takes some skillful planning in some parts as you have to climb up rocks or attempt to climb up a very steep hill. As others have said, there aren’t really any trail markers but it’s clear to see where others have traveled.

Robert Dorman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Nice trail, just not well marked in places. People very courteous with social distancing, but would recommend getting there early!

View Robert's Recording
Maxim Verenich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingBugs

Heavily used trail, but beautiful scenery and amazing views at the top! I’ve been here multiple times for sunrise and it never gets old. Love the Adirondacks

Samantha Robbins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 08 2020
HikingRocky
View Samantha's Recording
Laura Clarke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingRocky

This trail was listed as moderate. I would says it's more difficult, especially if you are taking young kids. we hike a decent amount but this trail was quite steep with most rocks to climb. it took us an hour and 45 mins there and back. We had two adults and 2 kids ages 9 and 10. Wear good hiking shoes and bring a hiking stick and lots of water. At the end of the trail was the fire tower and it was amazing. The breeze cooled us down and the view was breathtaking. my 9 year old even said it was worth the hike for the view and she complained the whole way up.

View Laura 's Recording
Sergey Fedossov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 06 2020
Hiking

Very enjoyable trail. There’s a lot of roots and some minor scrambling might be required so take that into consideration when doing this trail. Also, I only saw two trail markers along the way, but as long as you follow the beaten path, you should be fine. With a 10 minute break at the top I managed to finish in under an hour. Fire tower is open, and many great views.

Dakota VanValkenburgh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking

Great trail as always with beautiful views and a moderate elevation to length ratio. There are a couple steep and technical spots so young children or older adults may need a little assistance and should take their time on these spots. The views from the fire tower are excellent and we can’t wait to hike it again. Be sure to keep track of this hike if you’re doing the ADK challenges as it is part of the Fulton Chain Trifecta, ADK6Pack, and the ADK Fire-tower Challenges.

View Dakota's Recording
Melinda Hartnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking

Perfect easy hike for our group from age 11 to 48. Hiking on rocks most of the time but we enjoyed it. Great view. Actual hiking was 56 min plus time on the top.

Amy Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Slightly difficult in certain spots and still doable. Saw many dogs and people with babies in their backs in carriers. Beautiful views from the top of 2nd, 3rd and 4th lakes.

Stephanie Kendrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingRocky

This is a great hike for anyone who wants to be done with it in an hour or so. The summit has a lot of different spots for viewing and the fire tower always has great views too. When you’re at the top, you can see Third and Fourth Lakes. Great, quick hike! FYI- fire tower was open for viewers as of 6/26!

Nick Masters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingRocky

Good trail for most ages, at some points there is steep rock you have to carefully go up. Littler kids could have some trouble but for older ones it’s perfect. Awesome views

Jennifer Convertino-Blackmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020
Hiking

1.7 miles total in 1 hr 28 min.

Michael Seawright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Great views, fun trail. My 3 year old had no trouble, and my older boys (7 and 9) ran the whole thing.

Heather Harder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
HikingRocky

Easy hike, so good for families. Not too long or steep. Very rocky. Basically just stay on the stones to keep on path. Fire tower was open! Beautiful views worth going up for. Unfortunately lots of litter.

Erin Hayner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

My favorite of the fulton chain trifecta. This trail was very poorly marked. Not a terribly challenging one but the views along the way were beautiful. We got slightly off trail on the way back down because we were following the ridge line. There wasnt a terrible amount of trash but watched a man let his dog poop right on trail, without picking it up. He ran away thinking we didnt see it happen. We did.

Carol Bastian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
HikingRocky

We got there at 8 am and very few people were out that early. There are a few steep sections over huge boulders. I’m 59, chubby with bad knees and it was doable for me. The view from the fire tower was breathtaking!

Dan Griff
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 20 2020
Hiking

nice trailer for early in the morning what

View Dan's Recording
Dinah Vaveao
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
Hiking

Tower is open took a five year old with only moderate whining for first time mountain. Had a great time!

Paris - Elizabeth Freeman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 17 2020
No shadeRocky

Did this trail yesterday, it was gorgeous! fire tower wasnt blocked off but may technically be closed. Once you get about halfway up you lose all shade as you get to the exposed ridge, definitely bring sunscreen!!! Was a great hike, the first half a mile or so is very intense and steep but an amazing work out. Can't wait to go again! Minimal bugs but you may want bugspray.

Jeremy Harber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2020
HikingBugsRocky

It's a wonderful short hike with quite a bit of elevation. Beautiful views, a fire tower (it's open), can be completed in a few hours out and back. You get a great view of the Fulton chain of lakes. Was surprised at the garbage, as I've been going here since I was young and it was never like that. I packed out a bag full of garbage. There is still a lot you can't get at to pick up cause it's down shear cliffs.

Marissa Brock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 07 2020
Hiking

Firetower is still closed temporarily due to covid. Had to personally pick up trash/beer cans along the way due to disrespectful hikers. Very popular trail and for how short it is it seemed almost overcrowded. I would definitely recommend coming either bright&early or later in the evening before the sun setting. Only took about an hour round trip, great views on the summit.

View Marissa's Recording
Brendan Kennedy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 07 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Made it up with the wife, my 8 and 6 year old. Muddy in a few areas and definitely some steep parts. Beautiful views! Felt great completing this trail.

Kelly Christie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 05 2020
Hiking

Excellent views!! It was very clean when we went today and the fire tower was open!!

Elizabeth Grove
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 25 2020
HikingBugs

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.

Shsne Stout
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 25 2020
Hiking

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

Alexis Donaldson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 20 2020
Hiking

Short trail with beautiful views. Usually lots of traffic

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