Firescrew, Cardigan and Orange

Hiked Firescrew, Cardigan and Orange on 5/21/2017. Weather was clear and in the 40s to start and warmed up to the 60s by the finish. There were a few pesky black flies after it warmed up but they didn’t seem to be biting. Lots of spring flowers, good views from all 3 summits and very few people out except on the summit of Cardigan. I started at the AMC Cardigan Lodge where the parking lot was completely full but no one was around, I guess they were all inside eating breakfast. I took the Manning trail up to the summit of Firescrew. There were many false summits before you reach the actual summit. There were a lot of ledges which could have been quite slippery if they were wet or icy.

Painted Trillium on the way up Firescrew
Cardigan from near the summit of Firescrew
Looking Northeast from Firescrew
Camels Hump in Vermont

I headed over to Cardigan from Firescrew on the Mowglis trail. The map showed a short trail down to a Cave Grotto that I wanted to go see but I missed it and had to turn back to find it. Apparently the sign was missing or there never was one but I did find some faint blue blazes and followed them to a cave. The trail was hard to follow and had a significant cliff challenge but I made it down and back up without incident.

One of the caves

I then climbed the ledges to the summit where I took a short break and looked around at all the views. The firetower was locked. It was too early to eat lunch so I headed down the West Ridge trail and over to Orange.

Looking back to the summit from the West Ridge trail

I stopped to eat my PBJ at a good view point as I wasn’t sure there were views on the summit. Turns out there were views from the summit.

Wind turbines over near Plymouth

From the summit I took the Vista Mont trail down over to the Clark trail. On the way down was when the black flies started to be a nuisance.

Couple of Trout Lilies
Painted Trillium and Trout Lilies

There were a surprising number of really beat up trail signs and signs that were missing. Good thing I had a map so I could figure out which way to go.

Damaged trail sign

I took the Clark trail down to the Woodland trail and back to the lodge and parking lot.

Dwarf Ginseng growing in the trail

Only 44 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.