Up for earning your turns and a challenge? Put your route-finding skills to the test and check out some of the many classic CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) trails that stem from abandoned resorts or expand beyond lift-serviced terrain at still populated slopes throughout the Granite State. Mount Cardigan, in Alexandria is one example of middle-of-the-road terrain that can throw a curveball, but still be "survivable" in the eyes of a backcountry novice.
Located east of the Firescrew sub-peak at Mount Cardigan, the Alexandria and Duke trails (cut by noted CCC ski trail designer Duke Dimitri von Leuchtenberg) offer wide enough swaths for carving turns and varying steepness and difficulty.
Both trails terminate in open pasture below where a rope tow once operated in the 1940s. Some searching for "trailheads" is necessary, but with an AMC lodge nearby and plenty of people around to talk with, it's easy to be pointed in the direction of memorable lines.
Fly into Manchester, New Hampshire; Mount Cardigan is 74 miles to the north of Manchester via I-93.
MORE BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURES:
- Mt. Baker, Washington
- Berthoud Pass, Central Colorado
- Tenmile Range/Summit County, North-central Colorado
- Mt. Lassen, California
- Wasatch Range, Utah
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
- Teton Pass, Wyoming
- Mount Greylock, Western Massachusetts
- Bolton Valley Backcountry, Northern Vermont
- Cardigan Ski Reservation, Western New Hampshire