Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower)

MODERATE 585 reviews

Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower) is a 1.9 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: 1.9 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

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
11 days ago

As always a great little hike with a lot of bang for your buck. Spikes are useful but don’t need snowshoes yet, though we’re getting a storm tomorrow night so that probably will change.

hiking
12 days ago

up there a few times really need to do better trail markers there less than less and after the storm in October it looks like a few trees marked And trail markers are so small you actually just stumble upon them for many non-locals you could get off track pretty easily especially if you’re trying to go around the rocks because it’s sheer ice and sun careful getting to the top very icy

hiking
1 month ago

Probably most popular hike near Old Forge, for good reason. Moderate climb almost anyone can do, along with young children and dogs. Breathtaking views at top.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike. Good parking area. Views are beautiful. Fire tower at the top was pretty cool to climb. The trail was extra muddy today due to the recent rain and heavy foot traffic. Some slick rocks and tree roots along the way. It would have been a much more enjoyable hike with a few less people. It was our 2nd hike of the day so we arrived there mid afternoon. Lots of cute dogs on the trail and some pretty small kids. Good for families.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

breathtaking views from the overlooks.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful hike with stunning views. Make sure to wear shoes with lots of traction for the rocks. A few muddy areas and very heavy traffic today but worth it for the views.

hiking
2 months ago

Cool trail, hiking on top of a granite ridge. Great views on top especially with the fall colors.

2 months ago

Hike up was good. Climbing the tower is woth the view

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

pretty fall hike. great view of the lakes. quick and easy.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Starts off pretty steep, can be slippery/muddy when wet.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

We recommend this hike to everyone of all ages with minimal physical ability. This trail is one of our favorites and we make sure to hike it every time we are in town. For the amount of climbing and energy this trail takes, the views are well beyond what one would expects. On top awaits a fire tower that offers a 360 degree view of the area. The trail itself is a bit of a challenge but as long as you have a great pair of shoes and walking ability then it’ll be well worth the short challenge!

Mostly rock face and should only take an hour unless your with kids or are a bit older. Nice easy hike!

hiking
2 months ago

the beautiful views are worth the hike. it's not a bad trek just be prepared to huff and puff if you arent in the best shape lol

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

This is a great bedrock trail which is not difficult but is not easy either. It is not well marked but mostly the trail is apparent. Stay on the bed rock and you’ll most likely be on the trail. The view from several lookouts is spectacular, especially in the fall. The view from the top is great and there is a fire tower from which a 360° view is possible. It took us about two hours in and out. There were quite a few people on the trail of all ages many dressed in their Sunday best, surprisingly. Grippy hiking shoes recommended.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Headed up the trail at 515am hoping to beat the sunrise. Took about 45 minutes to the top in darkness. Was a Great hike and much more challenging to do than the photos may present. No bugs but a little chilly up top before the sun rose.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike, great views along the way and from the fire tower on top. Roughly 3 hour round trip, with some steep rocky areas, but many had work arounds.

hiking
2 months ago

The hike was beautiful today -dry, no bugs , and he leaves are showing some nice deep reds this year!!

hiking
2 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
2 months ago

Did this hike beginning of August. Enjoyed this hike a lot. Love the rocky trail. Would do this again. Fun for kids.

Hiked with Dan. Our third time on this hike, final hike of the ADK 6-Pack Challenge. Nice bushwhack.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Nice trail, some areas of steep rocky inclines as well as tree roots along a good portion of the trail. However, there are a couple of areas of very nice viewing areas of the landscape. We also climbed the fire tower for more spectacular views. Well worth the hike, great exercise and a fun challenge.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

definitely a trail for people who can climb rocks. was a first for my son and husband we almost made it to the top maybe next year but it was great cardio... and the views are amazing!!!!!!

hiking
3 months ago

easy hike, beautiful views

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful hike. heavy traffic, but to be expected on a holiday weekend.

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