Hike Cardigan Mountain via the West Ridge Trail

3 miles 1200 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Gustavo Quiros

Hike Cardigan Mountain just 2 hours north of Boston and enjoy an easy hike to a bald summit where you can enjoy the 360 degree views and maybe even catch the perfect sunset from the summit.

Cardigan Mountain is located in Cardigan Mountain State forest just outside of Canaan, New Hampshire. 

Just make sure to go to The Cardigan Mountain state park parking lot, via Cardigan Mountain Road and not the AMC Cardigan Lodge.

The trail begins right from the parking lot where there is a portable restroom and you will be on your way. The trail is quick and easy, though it becomes muddy, it is not a technical hike.

Once above the tree line you can enjoy the beautiful views and make your way up to the fire tower.

  • Notice the fire tower is locked but makes a nice place to take shelter under if the weather is unfavorable.

Hiking the mountain for sunset is popular since the hike is easy and you have a great view of the horizon from the summit.

  • If hiking for sunset be sure to bring some sort of flashlight and or head lamp

Take your time and enjoy the views while you explore this beautiful New Hampshire gem. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


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Overall rating: 


almost 2 years ago

Wonderful hike but lots of people

I loved this hike! But, there were LOTS of people. We went in summer and there were literally bus loads of kids hiking this. A lot of these kids weren’t prepared and some were crying because they were thirsty, tired, in pain. We hurried down the trail because weather can turn really fast and we saw the rain coming. We got off the trail just as the rain started. Not a rock I’d like to be on when wet.

Easy, Pleasant Day Hike

I've done this in fall and early spring on snowshoes, both of which were fun. Trail is easy, wide and well-marked. The top affords wonderful views, a great lunch spot with room for lots of people to hang out, and the fire tower adds an extra-fun viewing.

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