FATMAP difficulty grade
This is called the “Dream Loop” for a reason.
This loop is the perfect loop up and around Cardigan Mountain State Park encompassing a variety of trails.
Begin at the state park parking lot in Orange: Directions: Take the West Ridge Trail, right onto South Ridge Trail to Cardigan Rimrock, right on Skyland Trail to Mount Gilman, past the summit of Gilman take the left onto Vistamont Trail, right on Clark Trail, bear left onto Woodland Trail (old logging road), then left onto Woodland Trail, arrive at AMC Lodge!, left onto Manning Trail, right onto Back 80 Trail through the remote woods, left on Mowglis Trail up and over the summits of Firescrew and Cardigan, then down the West Ridge Trail back to your car. For the most part the route is quite intuitive circumventing the peak counter clockwise.
The back trails after the AMC lodge are mossy and untouched much like a fairy garden..
The ridge line from Mowglis to Firescrew and Cardigan is a granite slab playground.
The descent off Mt Cardigan’s summit is above tree line with incredible views of the surrounding areas.
The wind often whips at high speeds at the summit.
Total mileage: 11+ miles, +3,000ft elevation gain.