A peak with a view: Bald Mountain in Rangeley
I moved from Florida to Maine about six years ago for a short trip, in search of adventure and a break. But I fell in love with the area and I found my true passion in life—hiking and the great outdoors. We don’t have many mountains in Florida, so I was relatively inexperienced when I moved up here. I didn’t let that stop me.
I did an awesome hike early this spring that can be done by almost anyone. This peak rewards conquerors with epic views, and it can be done in a relatively short period of time. My friend and fellow adventurer, Jess, joined me. We had just done a 4,000 footer the weekend before and we were looking for more of a chill hike where we could just have good times and great views. We headed over to Bald Mountain in Rangeley.
Bald Mountain is just a couple hours out of Bangor. We left a bit before 8 a.m. and hit the trailhead around 10:45a.m. Since there was still snow on the ground and the parking area was not marked, we parked on the side of the road by the entry sign and crossed our fingers that our car would be there when we got back.
To reach the primary trailhead, follow Maine State Route 4 to Bald Mountain Road until you reach the park sign for Bald Mountain. The Bald Mountain Trail is located between Rangeley and Mooselookmeguntic Lakes. When you reach the summit, you’ll experience panoramic views including Saddleback Mountain, Elephant Mountain, the Height of Land, and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in the White Mountains.
The summit of Bald Mountain has a fire tower up top that you must ascend to check out the views. It’s a nice place for a break before you head back down. We met some snowmobilers on the summit and we all enjoyed the sunshine and the blue skies at the top. That’s one of the things I love most about hiking and adventuring—the mentality. Everyone is so kind, helpful and eager to share information.
There’s something magical about being in the mountains on a bright sunny day with snow still on the ground. It’s pretty close to paradise, in my opinion. Jess and I enjoyed the break and then began our descent. Getting down the mountain is always easier and takes less time. The total hike was just about 2.3 miles and is perfect for a day hike from any of the surrounding areas.
Winter hiking takes more out of you than summer hiking, and two and a half miles in the snow felt more like five miles. We were some of the only people on the trail that day, so the snow provided us a good challenge because the trail was only moderately broken in. To make matters more difficult, it had snowed a few days prior. Imagine lifting your feet up with bricks glued to the bottom. Alright, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but that’s what it feels like after a bit.
Dressing for winter/spring hiking can be a challenge. You always think you need more than you do, and if you’re like me you over pack and weigh yourself down. I’ve learned the hard way what to bring and what not to bring.
Want to read more about Danielle and her adventures? She shares her experiences and tips over at LoveMaineAdventures.com.