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Mount Cardigan Loop Trail

MODERATE 308 reviews

Mount Cardigan Loop Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Canaan, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,181 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

34 minutes ago

Nice hike, moderate difficulty. Fairly heavily trafficked during weekends.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice hike with rocky top and beautiful views. Interesting at the top, with tower and usually windy. Great for families, even with smaller children.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

Great hike! Beautiful day. Windy and cool at the top. Kids (5&7) did fairly well though we didn't quite make it to the fire tower as they were bothered by the wind.

nice loop.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail that has a beautiful summit.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 days ago

Gorgeous at the top. A little cool with the wind. Perfect distance and skill level for a quick yet beautiful hike

hiking
scramble
6 days ago

This is probably one of my favorite hikes! Not super long, steep in spots, pretty well marked, gorgeous view from the top. It can be a bit muddy and slippery if there's been recent rain. Keep in mind the wind factor at the top can be completely different from the parking lot since there's no tree coverage.

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 days ago

excellent trail super easy. lots of people though!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
9 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

Unbelievable 360deg view.

hiking
rocky
scramble
19 days ago

awesome hike, a little rocky in a few areas. south ridge extremely steep and rocky. almost vertical in a few areas. use caution. other than that amazing 360 views up top.

hiking
24 days ago

Fantastic day for a hike, temperature was perfect. Clear day with an amazing 360° view. Mt Cardigan is much like Mt Monadnock only with less traffic. There is allot of open space up the top to explore. We would highly recimmend.

very windy again

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful rewarding hike! Moderately challenging, great for a quick day hike. Good elevation towards the end, a little scrambly if you’ve got short legs like me but the views make it so worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely magical views! According to a fellow hiker, I learned one can see mountains in both Maine and Vermont from this summit. The hike itself (on the West Ridge Trail) was moderately strenuous most of the time, as it was consistently uphill. The Highlander Trail Crew does a fantastic job at maintaining the path - especially in parts that may be prone to mud and puddles. There were always strategically placed rocks or planks. Once hitting the granite peak, the hike became more difficult, as the slope was steep at times. Yet, it was possible to walk the entire way without having to use one’s hands and knees. The path is also well marked with orange dashes and cairns at the top.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

1 month ago

This is my favorite short hike in NH. Great views. Love to hang out and explore the top. Dog loves it too.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Really awesome hike with amazing views! I love how versatile this hike is with difficulties. It could really be the perfect home for whoever wanted to go. I started on West Ridge up which is very well maintained with easy to moderate grades until you reach close to the summit. It then becomes rock ledge and steeper but manageable grades. No scrambling or climbing required. . This trail up and down is completely doable for children, dogs, beginner hikers, galore. The summit was gorgeous and not as crowded as I thought it’d be for Labor Day Weekend. Think Mt Pemi crowded not Monadnock. Took Carter (?) over to South Ridge. Again bald rock, moderately steep grades. Doable. South Ridge over to South Peak (so pretty!!!) and the Cardigan Rock/Ledge area. In hindsight I wish I had done this trail up South and down West. South Ridge trail is on the shadier side of the mountain therefore everything was a little more wet. Less ledges and more scrambling up rocks before you break tree line if I was going up which I much rather would’ve enjoyed. Bit slippery on the way down but I wasn’t on a time crunch today so taking my time was all that was needed. This section maybe lasts less than 0.5 miles. Then it’s pretty easy sailing until you reach West Ridge trail again and finish the last quarter mile. Of note- at Cardigan Rock/Ledge you can cut back to the West Ridge trail as well. I was enjoying the blue bird day and wanted to add the extra hiking time. My hike as above took me 2.74 hours for 3.5 miles plus or minus and that includes pausing the clock at the summit which I took in for a long time and many stops (unpaused) to take in the views (or take a shameless selfie lol).

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Enjoyed the south ridge going down. Can be challenging to find the south trail to take down. It really is down that semi steep rock face. Follow the white markers. You’ll see them.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes in New Hampshire. Trail is well-marked and well-maintained, challenging in spots but overall quite manageable. Great panoramic view at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Great view at top!

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