Bald Mountain (sometimes also known as Rondaxe Mountain) takes the claim to the most frequented fire tower in the Adirondacks, with as many as 15,000 visitors annually according to some sources. This is probably due to the ease of access – it is close to Old Forge, a popular destination in the summer months, and the fact that it is one of the easier fire tower climbs. It is a perfect quick jaunt for families coming from Old Forge or the nearby lakes during any season.
The trail begins gradually along a wide and open path, turning at 0.3 miles into a steeper and narrower trail. After a short while the trail reaches the ridge and from there it gradually follows the ridgeline another half mile or so to the summit. At the summit, you will be able to climb the renovated fire tower to see the expansive views from the top. To see the remains of the observer’s cabin, you only have to travel another 150 feet past the fire tower – a find that is well worth exploring the summit to find!
Coming from Old Forge, take route 28 headed north towards Inlet. After passing the Enchanted Forest Water Park, Rondaxe Road will be 4.4 miles ahead on your left. Once on Rondaxe Road you will find the trailhead ahead approximately 1,000 feet on the left.
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Alyssa Devlin is a freelance writer who grew up hiking and skiing the ‘dacks and is now based in Washington, DC. She spends her days fighting the heat with daydreams of swimming in cool Adirondack lakes. You can find her at alyssadevlin.com.