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Coats over cardigans at Cardigan State Park

Posted on by Mairead Dunphy

With snow and wintry weather on the way, I decided to take a last minute hike at Cardigan State Park. Only about an hour and change away from Concord, it was the perfect afternoon hike, but it seemed that winter had already come to the area.

Cardigan State Park located in Canaan, N.H.

Cardigan State Park located in Canaan, N.H.

When preparing to hike anywhere in the winter, it is important to know the conditions of where you are going to hike and what the weather will be on that day. For instance, there was already snow and ice on Cardigan’s trails and summit due to a storm that passed through a couple days earlier. Taking the right precautions can make any hike safer and more enjoyable. We, my brother Sean and I, brought layers, hats, gloves, snacks and water just to be safe. Bringing something like Yaktrax could have been helpful on a day like this, it would have given us that extra boost of confidence while walking over the ice!

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When we did reach the top, the cold temperatures and wind speed didn’t allow us to stay up there long. It was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit with a 50 mph wind speed, demonstrating that even with layers and gear, I couldn’t feel my legs! Also, my iPhone shut down because of the low temperature, but it let me appreciate the beauty with open eyes.

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It was gorgeous at the summit, which was approximately 3,155 feet (962 m) above sea level. It was an enjoyable intermediate hike that was about 3 miles round trip, and with proper winter gear I bet it would be a great winter hike further along in the season.

IMG_6425  We may of had to go on all fours (again here is where Yaktrax or microspikes would have come in handy!) when we got to some icy parts, but with careful footing and some good company it wasn’t too bad at all. Make sure to get out and take advantage of hiking now before you have to pull out ice picks and crampons!

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