It’s a pleasant drive on Route 4 from Farmington, through Strong, Phillips, and Madrid, along the Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byways, to get to Rangeley. Click here to view a map or get directions for your trip.
Actually, the Bald Mountain Trail is reached through Oquossoc, but it’s very easy to find. Using my trusty Maine Atlas I found the directions, and the trail was marked at the roadside by a large wooden sign provided by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands–you can’t miss it. There is plenty of parking, and a very clean outhouse–not even foul odor marred this privy.
The Atlas describes the trail as an easy 1 mile hike–a “family friendly loop”. However, hubby and I both wondered how accurate their trail-length is, because the trail seemed longer than a mile (note to self: buy pedometer). Also, I wouldn’t recommend anyone with very small children try the trail, as some places are very steep–though I suppose it would all depend on how ambitious you are. Hubby had never climbed a mountain before, and it had been years since I had climbed, though I still do a lot of hiking, so I’d like to think I was probably in better shape than my poor husband, who has trouble with his knees and was already sore to begin with.
The trail started out fairly easy, it was well marked with blue, and quite pleasant. But little more than half-way along the trail began a much steeper ascent. Without realizing the full extent of our actions, we brought the family dog, Tamra, who is going on twelve, getting older, and had to be hefted over some of the rockier sections where there was some physical climbing involved.
At the top of Bald Mountain there is an abandoned fire tower–not the old wooden kind you might initially imagine, but a very sturdy and rugged galvanized metal tower–very safe. The view from there is gorgeous and, for me it was well worth the climb.
Going back down we saw this little red squirrel who stopped to watch us watching him for a full five minutes before he got upset with us and began chattering angrily higher up the tree.
Overall it was a pleasant day out. I tried in vain to console my poor sore hubby that this trail was “easy” and to imagine what some of the more difficult trails must be like. The dog wasn’t buying it either, and passed out in the back seat of the car on the way home.