1-minute hike: Bald Mountain, Dedham, Maine

Difficulty: Easy to moderate difficulty. The trail to the top is short but steep. It should only take about 30 minutes to reach the top if you don’t dilly-dally.

Directions: Bald Mountain is easy to find because it’s right off of Bald Mountain Road in Dehdam. The “trailhead,” which at first looks more like an access road, is on the left near the junction of Bald Mountain Road and Johnson Road. There is a farm on the right at this junction. Follow the wide “trail” or access road to the base of the mountain, ignoring a few smaller trails, and follow the wide ski trail up, following the power lines.

Information: Bald Mountain, with an elevation of 1,261 feet, is located in Dedham between Phillips Lake and Green Lake. The mountain served as a downhill ski area (including a ski shop, warming hut, double chairlift and T-bar) from the late 1930s to 1976, when the mountain was closed. Today, the trail following the power lines is a steep and direct way to the top. Several additional trails were made during the mountain’s golden years, and many of them can still be explored. Some parts of the mountain are still traversable for downhill skiers, though it has become more popular for hikers, snowshoers and backcountry skiers. The main base lodge has been demolished and remnants of the snowmaking pipes and electrical conduits for lights can be found throughout the mountain. The double chair has been moved to Camden Snow Bowl, and the T-bar has also been removed. Several radio towers and buildings crowd the top. Much of the mountain is now owned by Prentiss & Carlisle, a forest management company that allows recreationists to still use the mountain as long as they leave the land how they found it, clean of trash and destruction.

Personal note: For my first hike of Bald Mountain, it was snowy, rainy and foggy. So I can’t tell you about the view from the top first-hand. I also wasn’t bold enough to explore trails too far away from the main ski trail, which follows powerlines to the top. Be careful for debris along the trail and at the summit. In the winter, be careful of ice. It’s safer to hike along the edge of the wide trail where there is some vegetation.

Challenge: I’m not great at animal tracks — yet. Let me know what you think of the animal tracks I came across in the video. I included three different tracks in the film. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo by Aislinn Sarnacki. Taking a rest from her hike up Bald Mountain in Dedham, Maine, Aislinn Sarnacki looks up at the snowy tree cover and snaps a photo on Jan. 13, 2012.

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.