Over the last few years, I’ve described the Bartlett Mountain Balds several times on this blog. This entry is different. It focuses on how to reach the balds- it’s not as hard as you might think.
- 41.496553, -76.132010 Game commission parking area along Windy Valley Road
- 41.497746, -76.134815 Cross the field and climb a bank with some pickers (no real trail), reach a mowed area below two homes/cottages. Follow a steep grade up through the pine trees.
- 41.497670, -76.138507 Reach an old forest grade at the edge of the pine forest.
- 41.498798, -76.161082 Follow the grade up the mountain. It is obvious, but steep and eroded in places. Reach the top at White Brook, turn right on another obvious grade.
- 41.508405, -76.157502 Heading north, this grade is level but wet in spots. Reach an area with exposed white bedrock and wet trails. Turn left on an old atv trail.
- 41.511151, -76.163631 The old atv trail goes through fern meadows and scenic forests where spruce trees become more common. Turn left, off trail hike to bushwhack 300-350 feet to the base of the balds.
- 41.510945, -76.164744 Negotiate large boulder, brush, and spruce trees off trail. Reach thick laurel and a game trail at base of the balds.
- 41.512344, -76.165765 Climb up and turn right to reach the balds.
- 41.512166, -76.170255 West end of balds at chasm
- 41.509299, -76.162934 Balds to south
- 41.497219, -76.143645 White Brook Falls is a nice 20 foot falls that you can see on the way back down, off the trail.
The balds are spectacular in late September or early October with impressive fall color. Winter is another great time to see them, with the white bedrock and green spruce. Treat this special place with respect. It is unique due to its extensive spruce forests, wetlands, cliffs, chasms, boulders, wetlands, and some views. It resembles a sub-alpine or boreal forest. While PA has several areas with stunted forests or balds, none are like this one with its isolation, topography, terrain, and spruce forests.
Be sure to try to walk on the bedrock or herd paths. Do not damage the lowbush blueberry meadows.
Enjoy this special place.