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      Cardigan Mountain State Park spans 5,655 acres and is an excellent area for hiking. A mountain road leads to trails on the west slope of Mount Cardigan as well as a trail to the summit. Mount Cardigan's 3,121-foot treeless granite summit affords outstanding views of west central New Hampshire, with a panorama that includes Mount Monadnock and the White Mountains, Camel's Hump in Vermont, and Pleasant Mountain in Maine. Camping is available at AMC's Cardigan Lodge.

      For detailed trail descriptions and supporting information see the Appalachian Mountain Club's Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide: AMC's Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails, Featuring more than 200 destinations including Monadnock, Cardigan, Kearsarge and the Lakes Region. Link below.

      Cardigan State Park
      Hiking Information
      Cardigan State Park
      Orange, NH 03741
      tel: 603.485.2034

      Mount Cardigan’s 3,155-foot treeless granite summit affords outstanding views of west central New Hampshire, with a panorama that includes Mount Monadnock and the White Mountains, Camel’s Hump in Vermont, and Pleasant Mountain in Maine.

      The 1.5-mile West Ridge Trail rises 1,200 vertical eet from the state park on Cardigan’s west slope, and provides the easiest access to the summit. Trails on the east side of the mountain are much longer and generally steeper.

      From the east side base at the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) lodge to the west side base at the state park is about 35 miles by road. As there are no shuttles that travel between the two areas, it is especially important to check your map before leaving the summit and select a trail that will lead to your car. Hiking trails are blazed in different colors based on their location on the mountain. Trails on the east side (AMC lodge) are blazed in yellow; trails along the north-south ridge are white; and trails on the west side (state park) are orange. Colors are independent of trail names. The South Ridge Trail, for example, changes from orange to white at Rimrock.

      Mount Cardigan has been a popular mountain destination since the early 1800s, and especially since 1867 when a carriage road was built to the summit at a cost of $200. In 1855, a devastating forest fire left the treeless, exposed granite mountaintop that persists today. A wooden fire lookout, built in 1904, was replaced by a steel tower in 1924. The State of New Hampshire acquired 700 acres in Orange in 1918 and formed the Mount Cardigan State Reservation. Today the reservation contains more than 5,000 acres in Orange and Alexandria. A big boost came to the park in 1933 when the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built trails and a new entrance road, and extended a telephone line to the fire tower. The reservation has been, and continues to be, the beneficiary of a remarkable civilian effort.

      The Cardigan Highlanders is a volunteer group that does the trail maintenance necessary to keep the trails open and stable. The Highlanders clear trails of brush and downed trees, install and clear waterbars, build bridges, blaze trails, and maintain signs. New volunteers are welcome to help with the trail work, and join in the training and camaraderie that are resulting benefits. (Enfield, NH 03749- 0104; telephone 603/632-5640)

      The Friends of Mount Cardigan is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote, protect, and maintain the state park base parking and picnic area for the enjoyment of all. Seasonal and longerterm projects are tackled by members to keep the area clean and inviting. Projects are supported by donations and fund-raising efforts. Your support is welcome. For more information contact: Friends of Mount Cardigan, RR #1, Box 199, Canaan, NH 03741; telephone 603.523.7760 or 523.4274, or find them on the web at

      Cardigan is a carry-in/carry-out park. Please take your trash, including biodegradables, out with you and dispose of them properly. There is no drinking water. Camping is not permitted on the mountain.

      For more information about Cardigan State Park, contact: N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation, PO Box 1856, Concord, NH 03302;
      telephone 603.271.3556.
      Cardigan Mountain Road Parking google parking directions
      Access Info:
      Operating Schedule
      This park is always open for recreation unless closed or restricted by posting. During the off-season the park is typically not staffed and comfort stations are not available.
      The off-season poses unique risks inherent when participating in outdoor recreational activities. Please be aware that many State Park areas and trails are not staffed during the off-season, and day-use fees are not collected. Recreationists should possess the necessary knowledge, skill, and equipment to ensure their own safety. Users assume all risk while recreating in State Park lands.
      Activities Click to view
      Region Details
      0 mountain bike trails

      Region Status
      Open as of May 9, 2021


      Trails (view details)
      Trails Hike
      Trails Trail Running
      Trails Snowshoe
      Trails Backcountry Ski
      Trails Nordic Ski
      Total Distance
      34 miles
      Total Descent Distance
      17 miles
      Total Descent
      10,135 ft
      Total Vertical
      2,137 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      3,153 ft
      Ridden Counter

      Recent Ride Log Activity in Region

      • 0 rides
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      Photos of Cardigan Mountain State Park Mountain Bike

      20 |
      Dec 20, 2020 @ 6:20am
      Dec 20, 2020

      Recent Trail Reports

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      Activity Feed

      user #1369378bcborderaddreportManning Trail and 4 more
      May 9, 2021 @ 6:16pm
      May 9, 2021
      user #1309489WillieJacobszaddphoto in Grafton, Massachusetts, United States
      Dec 20, 2020 @ 6:20am
      Dec 20, 2020

      Nearby Riding Areas

      D Acres 3 4 39.8 km
      Tenney 1 110.1 km
      Green Woodlands 29 17 310.3 km
      Rattlesnake Mountain11.8 km
      Page Hill 3 6 212.1 km

      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Hike3434 miles10,135 ft17 miles2,136 ft
      Trail Running3434 miles10,135 ft17 miles2,136 ft
      Snowshoe3233 miles9,777 ft16 miles2,136 ft
      Backcountry Ski13,281 ft748 ft3,281 ft748 ft
      Nordic Ski32 miles810 ft4,639 ft1,053 ft
      • By WillieJacobsz TRAILFORKS NEMBA & contributors
      • Admins: apply
      • #42937 - 599 views
      • cardigan mountain state park activity log | embed map of Cardigan Mountain State Park mountain bike trails | cardigan mountain state park mountain biking points of interest

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