How to Hike to the Bartlett Mountain Balds

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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.

  1. 41.496553, -76.132010  Game commission parking area along Windy Valley Road
  2. 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.
  3. 41.497670, -76.138507  Reach an old forest grade at the edge of the pine forest.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 41.512344, -76.165765  Climb up and turn right to reach the balds.
  9. 41.512166, -76.170255  West end of balds at chasm
  10. 41.509299, -76.162934  Balds to south
  11. 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.
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Map to the balds.  Numbers correspond to the above GPS coordinates.

 

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.

More photos:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/49239558@N04/albums/72157675174918495

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8 thoughts on “How to Hike to the Bartlett Mountain Balds

  1. Jeff, you’re book and blog notes were an indispensable guide for me. I’ve never hiked backwoods before. I hiked to The Balds and Flat Top Vista this past Sunday, just before the hunters combed the SGL 57 on Monday. You’re an inspiration to me and I am thankful for finding your contribution.

    • About 3.5 miles one way. There is a trail 90 percent of the way, but not blazed or signed. It follows old logging roads or atv trails. There are other old roads and trails to extend the hike, but you should be familiar with the area. I plan to lead a hike at the end of Sept or early Oct.

      • Jeff,
        Are you leading a hike through a Club, or just on your own? Hiking alone in the far reaches of SGL 57, left me feeling a bit uneasy the last time I went in late November last year. I would love to tag along and discover more, so long as the hike is not longer than 10 miles.
        Andy

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