Cannon Mountain (4100 ft)

Saturday, June 28, 1997

The weater was very good today. Although the predictions for Littleton were calling for 90 degree (F) temperatures, I wasn't expecting it to be that warm in the mountains themselves. The air was reasonably dry and clear and it generally promised to be good hiking weather.

I climbed alone today. I parked at the tramway station at the north foot of the mountain and took the Kinsman Ridge Trail to the summit. The trail climbed steeply and steadily through the forests next to the tramway line. There were a few views of Echo Lake and Eagle Cliff through the trees, but not really very many. The climb was not exceptionally long, but it was a bit grueling and required careful pacing. I was happy to reach the ridge where the trail leveled out.

Just after leveling, a side trail lead a short distance to a wonderful view of the Franconia Range. I sensed that the overlook was just above the famous east cliff that the mountain is known for. I didn't look over the edge, however, to check.

The trail then continued along the ridge with easy grades until it reached the Rim Trail. This short, well travelled path connected the upper tramway terminal to the observation tower on the summit of the mountain. I stopped by the tramway terminal to see what that was like. There were quite a few people around who had come up on the tramway. There was also rest rooms and a small cafeteria there. It wasn't exactly a wilderness mountain. Nevertheless I didn't begrudge the people who took the tramway. They were enjoying the mountain in a way that would not have otherwise been possible for many of them. I was glad they got the chance to do that.

I then walked along the Rim Trial (from which there were many excellent views of Franconia Notch) to the observation tower on the summit. Cannon Mountain isn't high enough to be above tree line so the tower was necessary to get a panaramic view. There was haze in the distance, but I was still able to recognize, with difficulty, Camel's Hump in Vermont. I could also easily enough see Mt. Pisgah in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. Mt Washington was behind Lafayette and couldn't be seen.

All in all, it was a very nice hike. It was relatively short and to the point, and the views of Franconia Notch were very worthwhile.

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© Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Chapin.
Last Revised: June 29, 1997