|An accidental "selfie" on the summit of Mt Cardigan, New Hampshire|
Mt Cardigan is a relatively popular hike but with a half dozen trails in the area, it is not unreasonable to think that you could experience a little solitude out there. I hiked it from the West, starting at Mt Cardigan State Park parking lot. This is one of the more popular ways to hike the summit but another excellent option is from the East at the AMC Cardigan Lodge. Here's an area map for directions. The links above provide hiking directions.
View Mt Cardigan Area Map in a larger map
Cardigan Mountain State Park is probably the easiest access and ascent of Mt Cardigan but I've been told the AMC Cardigan Lodge hike is just as good. From the parking lot at the end of the road in the State Park, the hike is a straightforward, 3.0 mile total trip. It ascends at a consistent pace until popping out on the bare granite summit which is extensive and great for exploring.
The other option, from the AMC Hut, is a 5.6 mile total trip which includes a loop option. Winter ascents are regularly done and trail conditions are updated frequently. The nearby Firescrew Mountain is also another easily reached summit with views. However, Cardigan is one of the best in the State-
|Fall colors on the summit of Mt Cardigan|
|The fire tower at the summit|
|A lovely trail through the woods|
...and there's no "off season" for these hikes. They are great in any season!
Read. Plan. Get Out There!