Bald Mountain Trail Loop

A short hike near Rutland known for its panoramic views, summer wildflowers, and birdwatching opportunities.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
5 km
Ascent
256 m
Descent
260 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
410 m
High Point
632 m
Gradient
10˚
VIEW ON MAP
Bald Mountain Trail Loop Map

Description

Just over 3 miles long, the Bald Mountain Trail offers the best mountaintop views near Rutland. Per the State Park's trail guide, this hike is "noted for its vistas, birdwatching potential, blueberries, and wildflowers," and "invites the visitor to explore all that Aitken State Forest has to offer." Along the way, you'll explore four prominent vistas, some with 360-degree views! Even better, free camping is available throughout the State Forest as long as you adhere to their series of guidelines found here.

The trailhead for this hike is located near the junction of Notch Rd. and Wheelerville Rd., just minutes from downtown Rutland or less than 30 from Killington Mountain. If you've explored the other classic hikes in the area like Deer Leap Rock or even the Canty Trail, consider this easier hike for a change of pace. Though the trail can be challenging at times, this hike is never too challenging compared to others in the area.

Confined by the Green Mountain National Forest to the east, Aitken State Forest is just over 900 acres in size. It's home to both summer and winter recreation opportunities. This hike is best in the summer and especially known as a birding hotspot in the region. For visitors of Killington, the only other notable birdwatching site is near Kent Pond, accessible via the Appalachian Trail. According to this source, the area is home to 95 unique species of birds and is best visited from May to July.

Sources: https://vtstateparks.com/assets/pdf/coolidgeaitken.pdf http://rutlandcountyaudubon.org/aitkenstateforest/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AitkenStateForest https://vtstateparks.com/assets/pdf/aitken-primitive.pdf

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area