Mount Cardigan Winter Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 01/14/2017 - 01/14/2017
Trip/Event Location: Alexandria , NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Our very first winter hike in January is devoted to those who are learning winter hiking. We'll help you gear up and share with you tips before you get started! We might have extra gear to loan...
Carpooling: It's not the easiest place to find so if you prefer, meet us at off Exit 23 [Meredith/New Hampton] exit for 10:20AM at the Park 'N Ride [right of the exit on Route 104 East] to carpool. We'll be driving a blue Toyota Tacoma truck.
GPS: Or most GPS systems will get you there if you type in 774 Shem Valley Road, Alexandria, NH. Or perhaps get driving directions from the web yourself.....mapquest, etc.
And as a last resort directions to Cardigan Lodge from I-93:
Take exit 23 for NH-104/NH-132 toward Meredith/New Hampton
Turn left onto NH-104 W/NH-132 S Continue to follow NH-132 S for 0.9 miles
Continue onto NH-104 W for 4.7 miles
Slight right onto Pleasant St for 0.2 miles
Continue onto Lake St for 0.4 miles
Turn left onto Bristol Hill Rd for 1.1 miles
Slight left onto Plumer Hill Rd for .08 miles
Turn left to stay on Plumer Hill Rd for .04 miles
Take the 1st right onto Town Pound Rd for 0.7 miles
Continue onto Washburn Rd for 0.2 miles
Slight right onto Mt Cardigan Rd for 3.6 miles
Continue onto Shem Valley Rd for 1.4 miles
Cardigan lodge will be @ the end of the road
What a fun hike! 13 participants....all had a grand time. Micros the whole way. Warmer than expected and less wind than anticipated. FUN!!!
Just getting to the trailhead for this one was an adventure! The AMC lodge at the trailhead is miles away from the main road. Eventually we arrived at the lodge where there were a few other hikers anxious to try hiking in the AMC Cardigan Reservation and the associated NH State Park.
Mt. Cardigan is 3115'. It's in central New Hampshire west of I-93. In the area there are two other peaks - Firescrew (3060') and Orange Mtn./Mt. Gilman (2684'). In addition to hiking trails, there are ski trails, which the AMC lodge services in the winter.
We had 13 GO members on this trip. We all carpooled to the AMC lodge except for Todd, Craig, Dan and John. We got our gear together and set out.
We took a loop from the AMC lodge up the Manning Trail to Firescrew, over the Mowglis Trail to Cardigan, then down the Clark Trail to the Holt-Clark Trail and back to the lodge. The trails are wonderful. Yes it was icy, but you do get a bit of a respite now and then.
Near the top of Firescrew we had lunch and then took off for Cardigan along the Mowglis Trail.
It isn't too long of a hike from Firescrew to Cardigan...
…as we progressed the clouds broke up and the wind was really kicking up.
We did not stay very long at the summit of Mt. Cardigan.
We found our way to the Clark Trail, but getting down off the summit of Cardigan is tricky because it's steep exposed rock.
It's a good thing most of it was bare rock but there were sections that the footing was very slippery!
Our journey down sent us from the Clark to the Clark-Holt Cut-Off trail and on out. Along the way we passed a large group of boy scouts [about 15] who were going up to stay at the AMC High Cabin. That place was going to be busy!
Although somewhat challenging to get to, the Firescrew/Cardigan hike is a decent winter hike that's not overly taxing but offers nice views. The Clark Trail is the one recommended more for beginners, with the Holt Trail being the nasty trail (reportedly very steep in sections by Todd and Craig). We did a moderate loop that I look forward to doing again.
Trip Report by Mike Boisvert
Pictures by Jon Normand
- The Trip Has No Photos -