VIA TRAILHEADS AT CARDIGAN STATE PARK: From I-89. Get off of exit 10 and head east on Route 4 towards Enfield and Canaan. Once in Canaan make a left onto Route 118 towards Orange and Rumney. At roughly a half mile north of Canaan make a right at the Cardigan State Park sign. Bear right after crossing over a stream roughly two and a half miles. The road to the parking area will be on your left, roughly a mile past the creek (closed in winter and early spring).
West Ridge Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles one way (2.5 in winter due to closed parking area)
Elevation Gain: 1250
This trail is the most direct trail to the summit of Mt. Cardigan and it is the easiest trail to the summit. The trail starts at a moderate pitch from the parking area. At about 0.5 mile it intersects with the South Ridge Trail and heads left. The trail continues at it's moderate pace through thick woods until it reachs the A waterfall at about one mile. Roughly 1000 feet after the waterfall the trail breaks the timberline that was caused by the major forest fire. The climb then continues over much more open terrain with moderate and some steeper pitchs (Though none of them are class 2). At 1.5 miles the reachs the summit fire tower with incredible views on all sides.
In summer only hiking gear is nessesary. However in winter crampons, trekking poles and snowshoes are required for this hike. The top of the mountain is highly exposed so dress for higher winds and colder tempuratures.