An easy hike and a bald summit offering panoramic views make Mount Cardigan a favorite with families, especially those with children. It is a New Hampshire classic, much like Mount Monadnock. To get there from Canaan on US4 (exit 17, I-89), drive north 0.5 mile on NH 118. Then turn right and following signs drive four miles to Cardigan State Park and the trailhead. The mountain is located in the town of Orange, east of Lebanon and Hanover. Below are some pics from the trail which starts off with plenty of shade (see trailhead pic) and then without much of a warning, opens out to stunning vistas and rocky inclines.
We took the West Ridge Trail (read easy trail) but if you want something more challenging, go for the Holt Trail.
How many shades of green and blue do you see in the above pic? This is the perfect spot to catch your breath or munch on an apple.
The fire tower at the summit is welcoming to visitors in summer. The trail is well-marked with cairns and paint blazes so if you don’t take too many breaks, you will reach the top in two hours. As you can see from the above pics, the hike is easy but the lack of trees mean one thing: Dressing in layers is a must, so is covering your head and ears.
The above pic answers the question people often ask me “What is it about hiking that you love so much?” I do it for the solitude at the summit.
Find a quiet spot, regain your energy, marvel at nature and if you are shutter-happy like my husband, take a few pics so that you can relive the moments on a chilly winter morning.