hike #46

Bald Hill Road in Danby SF  —  two walks

Meet-up: Corner of Station Road and Bald Hill Road.

Map

Hike A  —  Take Bald Hill Road to the Abbott Loop  —  then up this to Thatchers Pinnacles

Click here and scroll down to see a very detailed contour map that shows the intersection of Station Road and Bald Hill Road and the Abbott Loop, which runs up to the Pinnacles (left side of the map, half way down).

This hike is the easy way to get up to the very dramatic Pinnacles look-out without exhausting yourself on the way up. Traditionally we’ve climbed up to the Pinnacles from Michigan Hollow Road, a fairly long and tiring walk that includes many lively uphills. By starting from Bald Hill Road this time, we cut out about two-thirds of the climbing, leaving you feeling fresher when you get to the top. We miss lots of great scenery by doing this, it’s true, but the scenery we do see is excellent.  The view from the look-out over West Danby is fantastic; in recent years,  the view was blocked by leaves during leaf season but the state recently did some pruning and the view is now more open in all seasons.

Bald Hill Road turns to a rough woods road where we park and takes on a very satisfying countryish feeling as we head south to the Abbot Loop. We’ll walk up to the Pinnacles on the north leg of the loop — it’s strenuous in spots — and then keep walking around the loop until we hit Bald Hill Road again further south. This leg of the loop takes us through some of the most beautiful pine woods we encounter anywhere, in my opinion. This part of the walk is downhill. Ideally we then turn around and retrace our steps when we reach Bald Hill Road — the walk looks very different going in the other direction.  But if people are feeling lazy, we can walk down Bald Hill Road for a while instead  —  it’s easy going  —  and if you’re really lazy, you can skip this as well and just walk straight back to the cars.  It takes less than 15 minutes

Hike B — stay on Bald Hill Road heading south until it ends at Michigan Hollow Road

This isn’t a level walk by any means, but it’s much easier than ascending to The Pinnacles. The road runs through the woods the whole time and the scenery is very pleasant. The road surface is fairly smooth and you can walk side by side and talk instead of having to walk single file and keep your eyes glued on the trail the whole time.