Mount Cardigan- Orange, NH
It's hard to judge the weather patterns once Autumn turns the corner. So when we see a good weather in the forecast we throw on hiking gear and take full advantage of the day! Two weeks ago we did just that, using a vacation day to get in one of our last mountain hikes of the season.
Important to note, the West Ridge trail is considered the easier ascent up to the summit. However from our experience there are many forks leading to different paths up the mountain. We started off on the West Ridge but ended up on the white lined trail which turned out to be steeper and more challenging as we got closer to the summit. We would not recommend the white-marked trail for beginner hikers. However the orange trail is great beginner- moderate hike.
As we continued on our hike, we knew we were approaching the summit as we saw the Fire Tower up ahead at the peak and the tree line begin to thin out. Once we broke the tree line the wind picked up, feeling as if the temperature dropped a few degrees- that's why its always smart to wear layers making it easy to adjust to the changing temperatures at higher altitude hikes.
Following the white trail, we climbed steep slate rocks for the last portion of the hike up, until we finally reached to the summit. At the top, you get amazing 360 views from over 3,000 feet up, overlooking the mountainous regions and beautiful foliage during the Fall season. Mount Cardigan definitely ranks high on our list of favorite hikes in the New England Region.
Regardless of your choice of trails up, we recommend the easier orange trail down the mountain. Another piece of advice would be to take advantage of this hike earlier in the season, as it did get cold at the summit during our hike at the end of October. We hope you make the trip to Mount Cardigan and be sure share your experience with us when you do!
Kristy Albano & Matt Pickering