Route: Cardigan Mtn State Park Loop (NH)

New Hampshire, US

Submitted by Emily Cousens:

A perfect loop over the peaks that comprise Cardigan Mountain State Park.
Begin at the state park parking lot in Orange:
West Ridge Trail, right onto South Ridge Trail to Cardigan Rimrock, right on Skyland Trail to Mount Gilman, past the summit of Gilman take the left onto Vistamont Trail, right on Clark Trail, bear left onto Woodland Trail (old logging road), then left onto Woodland Trail, arrive at AMC Lodge !!, left onto Manning Trail, right onto Back 80 Trail through the dankest untouched woods, left on Mowglis Trail up and over the summits of Firescrew and Cardigan, then down the West Ridge Trail back to your car.
Sounds confusing, is very intuitive and the back trails are gorgeous and deserve a little more attention.
11+ miles, ~3,000ft elevation gain.


I, Joffrey Peters, will run this loop on Saturday, May 4, 2019. I plan to run solo and take all water/food/gear with me from the start, so it will be "unsupported" if that means anything for a twoish hour effort.

Many people have done this or similar loop before (me included, but in the opposite direction), but since none of those are posted, I'll set a bar. I'm treating this as a training run, and expect trails to be quite wet, so won't be going all that fast. I expect this time to be quite beatable. I'll track with my GPS watch, and will try to take a few photos along the way for documentation.

Of note: the mountain on the southern tip of this route is labeled as "Orange Mountain" on the USGS quads. I don't see a Mount Gilman anywhere near Cardigan on the USGS quads. According to my caltopo map ( the loop comes in at 10.6 mi, 3500 ft of gain.

I, Eric Harbeck, will run the Cardigan Mtn State Park Loop on Saturday, August 3rd, 2019. This will be a solo run. All food/water will be carried with me, thus being an "unsupported" effort. I will be using my GPS watch, a Suunto Ambit Vertical, to track my run. I will post the results after I complete my effort.