Bald Peak is a great half day hike from Route 9 in New Russia. It's a good workout with 2500' of vertical gain over the course of 7.8 miles.
I was spending the day with my lovely daughter Lindsay and we opted for a half day hike and a half day paddle. I threw out a few suggestions for the hike portion of the day and described the features of each hike. She chose Bald Peak.
We started on the trail at 9:30. It was a beautiful day and that is partly why we got together on this day. We had a nice breeze and the bugs were non-existent all day.
The first thing I noticed as we started hiking was all the flowing water. In my mind I had it that this trail was quite dry, but after the rains we've had, there was water most of the way up. That was great for my dog Rev. It gave her a chance to drink almost whenever she wanted.
After 45 minutes we arrived at the 1st viewpoint. We stopped here for a drink before continuing on. Soon we passed over Blueberry Cobbles.
|Flowers on Blueberry Cobble|
From Blueberry Cobbles the trail drops several hundred feet to a col and then resumes the climb. There is another small bump with a ledge that provides a good view of Bald.
|A good look at Bald Peak|
There is another small drop then the steep portion of the climb begins. Open rock soon appears and you can spend time looking at the scenery while you climb.
|Let the steep climb begin...|
|Views offset the steep climb|
|Near the summit of Bald Peak. Rock Peak Ridge in the distance and Giant Mountain on the right in the background.|
As we approached the summit, we passed a group of rock cairns of various shapes and sizes. Someone has been practicing their cairn building technique.
|A unique cairn|
|A large rockpile just below the summit|
|Rev is posing|
|Lindsay is soaking up some sun. Rev doesn't see the point.|
|Rev has told Lindsay that it is time to continue walking|
If you do this hike, don't stop at the summit of Bald Peak; take the time to walk along the subsequent ridge, past a large glacial erratic to another viewpoint at the far end of the ridge. This ridge walk reminds me of the Jay Mountain Ridge and it's worth the extra short walk.
At the far end of the ridge, the trail drops steeply into a col before climbing steeping towards Rocky Peak Ridge. This is a good place to turn around if you are only looking for a half day hike.
|A zoom view of Iron Mountain to the north.... a great bushwhack destination.|
|A zoom view of Owl Head Lookout|
|This is the view from the viewpoint at the west end of the Bald Peak ridge.|
|Looking east back at Bald Peak|
|A birch tree fighting the harsh climate|
|Lindsay tried to move glacial erratic|
|A stone lined path...|
We didn't see anyone all day until the last mile when we saw a couple heading in. This trail doesn't get much use; mostly just through hikers doing the Rocky Peak Ridge traverse.
Hike Distance: 8.2 miles
Hike Time: 5.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 2500'
|Our route (click image to enlarge)|
|The route as shown on the NG topo|