Bald Mountain, often referred to as Rondaxe Mountain, and just outside Old Forge, is a short 1-mile hike that offers a wide-open rocky summit and firetower that overlooks the Fulton Chain of Lakes and vast forests and mountains of the western Adirondacks
Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Mountain)
1 mile (2 miles round-trip)
Webb, Herkimer County
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Hike Up Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain, also called Rondaxe Mountain, is an easy 1-mile hike east of Old Forge. This trail is entirely on public Forest Preserve in the Fulton Chain Wild Forest Area. The trailhead parking lot is off of Rondaxe Road, just off of Route 28. Bald Mountain is popular and heavily used. As a result, the trail is worn down to bedrock in many places and requires scrambling over rock faces and outcrops.
A restored firetower stands on the summit of Bald Mountain. It provides a sweeping view of the Fulton Chain of Lakes and the Moose River Plains. The mountaintop is wide open with extensive rock ledges where many people can sit. This popular mountain is not a place to go for solitude.
The Bald Mountain Hiking Trail
The trail begins with a relatively straight, flat stretch through a northern hardwood forest. The trail is well-worn and easy to follow. The first rock faces to climb over and around are encountered about a quarter mile down the trail.
After climbing over the first section of open bedrock, the trail enters a wooded section that slowly gains elevation. The trail often passes around large trees with exposed roots. Scenic overlooks and narrow side trails veer off to the left, but the main trail is designated with red trail markers. Along this path and just over halfway through, a large bedrock clearing emerges that offers a solid resting place. The blue waters of the Fulton Chain can be seen through the trees.
The Bald Mountain Summit and Firetower
The last section of trail is marked by a series of stone staircases and large rocky outcrops. The summit is a wide-open rocky area that stretches for hundreds of feet. The firetower stands on the west end. At 2,350-ft elevation, Bald Mountain is the tallest peak in the area. The summit offers great views of Fourth Lake and the Fulton Chain and rolling hills to the south.
The firetower provides a panoramic view from the top levels. To the north lies the conservation easement lands in the Stillwater tract and parts of the Pigeon Lake Wilderness to the northeast. To the west McCauley Mountain and Old Forge are visible. To the south lie the vast forests of the Adirondack League Club and the Moose River Plains.
The hike down follows the same route as the hike up.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Bald Mountain.
When You Hike Make Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” to be Prepared and to Protect the Forest Preserve
Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and follow other Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the public Forest Preserve and other wild areas. The seven Leave No Trace principles are: 1) Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Stay on hiking trails and camp at designated areas; 3) Dispose of human waste and trash properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfires; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Respect other hikers.
Educated hikers do not damage the environment. Prepared hikers do not need search and rescue unless injured.
Winter Use: Bald Mountain is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter. It is not practical for cross-country skiing.
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