Hike Cardigan Mountain via the West Ridge Trail

Cardigan Mountain Parking Lot

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. 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking boots
  • Layers
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
Show More
RT Distance 3 Miles
Elevation Gain 1200 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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