Cannon via Mittersill, Something “New”, 9.17.13

I had a free day,  so I took the opportunity to try the new Cannon Mittersill Trail on the north side of Cannon Mt.  Since I’ve been to Cannon a “few” times, I was interested to try a new route.  Steve Smith and John Compton both wrote blog reports on the new trail, which gave me a little information and inspiration.

This new trail is accessed by taking Mittersill Road from Rt. 18 in Franconia (exit 34C on I-93), and parking in Lot 1.  The trail starts near the chairlift, with a sign to the left of the lift.  This trail is not exactly new, but is made up of segments of ski trails and access roads, with no actual cut trail through the woods.  For that reason, it is nice and wide the entire way, but if you’re looking for an “in the woods” experience, this might not be the trail for you.

Sign at the start of the trail; in the distance, up the ski trail, one of the first blazes is visible.

Sign at the start of the trail; the trail goes straight ahead and then heads toward the left further up the ski trail.

The trail is well marked, at least for now, between the blazes on trees, blazes on rocks in the ground and small metal markers stuck into the ground.  I’m not sure how this will work out once the snow flies, if this trail is intended to be used once it is covered in snow.  I think it might be more of a challenge with snow coverage, because with fewer markers, you’d have to know where all the turns are on to the proper ski trails.

An example of the blazes on rocks, with a metal blaze around the corner.  These sort of blazes will be lost once the snow cover is deep enough.

An example of the blazes on rocks, with a blaze on a metal post around the corner. These sort of blazes will be lost once the snow cover is deep enough.

The actual hike up is pleasant with only a few moderate to steep sections, and some gravelly sections as to be expected since the trail is partly access roads.  Higher up, some of the trail is damp and spongy, but that will probably go away over time as the trail is hardened.  Due to the overnight temperatures, some of the wet, exposed rocks were a bit icy, and in the shade, the frost lingered on the plants.  The trail passes over Mittersill Peak, which has a first aid cache, and from there you can see ahead to the summit area of Cannon with the tramway building and summit tower building.  From here to the summit, there is less protection from the north and west winds, making the half mile or so very windy and exposed to the elements.  The trail leads to the tramway building, and once there it is easy to take the gravel trails to the actual tower on the summit.

First aid cache on Mittersill Peak.

First aid cache on Mittersill Peak.

View to some of the Cannon Balls and the Kinsmans from Mittersill.

View to some of the Cannon Balls and the Kinsmans from Mittersill.

Cannon, a bit overexposed due to the morning sun.

Cannon, a bit overexposed due to the morning sun.

The summit tower, the same as always!

The summit tower, the same as always!

As far as views are concerned, the views on the ascent really don’t open up until you arrive at Mittersill, from there you will have nice views to Cannon, the Cannon Balls, the Kinsmans and Franconia Ridge.    Almost the whole way down has great views, mostly to the north, east and west, toward Franconia, Sugar Hill and beyond.

Heading down the trail, with Mittersill ahead.

Heading down the trail, with Mittersill ahead.

It was an interesting morning and quick hike (about 5 miles round trip) to somewhere familiar, yet by a completely different route.

Looks like Jack Frost made a stop here the previous night.

Looks like Jack Frost made a stop here the previous night.

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5 thoughts on “Cannon via Mittersill, Something “New”, 9.17.13

  1. Hi Summerset,

    Great to read that you took this new route for a spin. It’s an interesting addition to the White Mountain hiking trail line-up. I probably won’t be using it frequently, but it’s nice to know that it’s there as a hiking option.

    John

  2. John, Thanks! I agree, I probably won’t be up there this way too often, either. It is a quick, relatively easy option for a closer to home hike.

  3. Summerset,

    Nice job of documenting this awesome trail…Great photos as well.

    I’m sure this trail will be closed during the skiing season.

    Bill

  4. Hiked this route on 11/9, it was a nice alternative to KRT. Ski slope hiking was different, but on the way down, the views were terrific.

  5. Agreed, Neil, the views are pretty good on the way down! Hiking ski slopes is different, but good for a change once in a while. Glad you stopped by!

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