I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire and want to share 5 awesome things you should do if you check this place out too.
Here are 5 things you need to do should you come to Cannon Mountain:
1) Make sure to savor the moment you see Cannon Mountain for the first time…
I will never forget the first moment I saw this mountain from a distance. My friend and I were just exploring north eastern states on a short but very fun 3 day trip.
We started in NY State, made our way east to Vermont, then the next day decided to explore New Hampshire and while we were headed further north east, we took interstate 93, a very scenic road (here are 11 awesome scenic drives in North America for road trips).
And on that interstate, when we made a particular turn, there it was…the marvelous location known as Cannon Mountain. I did make an Instagram video of this moment so be sure to check that out! But here is the moment:
It is absolutely unforgettable when you see this place for the first time. It is just so massive and it is impossible to look away at it (but be careful since you will be driving).
While there are lookouts to see this place, I would recommend driving right into the ski area because that’s where you’ll be able to see this place better, from the top and enjoy the other 4 things I’ll talk about. Here’s another:
2) Enjoy the fudge they sell, it’s delicious.
While this place is mainly known for being a ski area, and we visited it during spring, they still had many areas open and the one we most enjoyed was the one where they sold food, particularly fudge. It is highly recommended if you love sweets.
3) Take a ride on their “Aerial Tramway”.
You have to buy tickets for this and I call it the gondola, but anyway, if you want to reach the summit as quickly as possible, this is way to do it.
The ride takes about 10-15 minutes to reach the top, but as you’re going up, make sure to take pictures, there’s some amazing scenery here. You can certainly elect to hike, but understand that this place is over 4,000 feet high and a hike, even a good pace will take you hours.
Also if you are afraid of heights (I very much understand you!), know that this tramway is extremely safe, fits over 50 people (with skis!) and is checked daily by professional engineers who actually sit on top of it (outside it) while it’s going up and down to make sure it’s functioning safely. Now this was told to me by the person running the tramway and I don’t know if he was being honest, but it did calm me down a little bit.
I will admit, the ride itself was very, very smooth and it’s very hard to believe such a massive object and go up and down the wires so smoothly, but it did.
By the way, for all the locations and nearby areas, here is a map:
4) Take the trail atop the summit to enjoy the view.
There’s definitely some stuff you NEED to see when you reach the summit. Fortunately, there is a 1,500 foot trail that goes around and atop the summit to help you get the best sights. Do note that there are NO railings at the top, so you will NEED to be very careful.
My friend and I stood at the edge several times, while it was raining and I am telling you, this was a horrible idea and I recommend you are extremely cautious if you are up there:
And of course, the edge and I mean, the real edge:
Yes this was a bit frightening, but also very enjoyable and unforgettable. We only later learned that this summit was actually one of the smallest ones in the area and the surrounding mountains went to even 1,000-2,000 feet higher, including the biggest on in the area: Mt.Washington which we unfortunately didn’t get to see on our trip and that one is over 6,000 feet high.
Yet this one was enough to make us very happy. I go to awesome places in the Catskills quite often where the elevation reaches a bit under 2,000 feet and even that is extremely high up for me, so 4,000+ feet high on this place was plenty!
5) Check out the watchtower!
If you take the 1,500 foot trail I talked about in #4, you will undoubtedly get to the famous watchtower which is about 3-4 stories high you can go atop off and have a magnificent 360 angle view of the surrounding area:
Now there were certain angles in this place where you felt as though you were in the heavens themselves. On the day we went to this place, there were a lot of clouds, mist and rain off an on, so while we didn’t get a chance to fully see all the details of the distant areas, we did feel as though we were right above the clouds and floating over them.
Other things you can do at or near Cannon Mountain:
- Ski (seasonal only obviously).
- Hike. There are quite a few trails you can take there and not just this area, but the surrounding mountain ranges. We saw quite a few people heading up trails as we were driving through.
- Visit Flume Gorge State Park. It’s close by.
- See these other locations in the White Mountains area.
Given that we were in a hurry to reach our next destination (Gulf Hagas in Maine), we felt the 5 things we did, in the 2 hours we fit this into, was plenty, but obviously, if you are not in a hurry and want to explore this area further, those 2 activities alone should keep you busy for days!
We loved Cannon Mountain and will surely go back one day, or at least see it from one of the other summits next to it!