Best Hikes Ever: Mt. Cabot Loop, NH

Bag a little-known triple crown in New England's northern woods.


There are no bumper stickers about cars climbing Mt. Cabot. That’s because its 4,180-foot summit is two miles from the nearest blacktop and 60 crow-miles separate it from the Presidentials, a hiker magnet that offers some of the Northeast’s best ridgeline trekking and is practically soaked in BACKPACKER ink. We’ve covered Cabot’s parent range before, but have never shared this route.

Take a weekend for this 11.4-mile loop linking the Unknown Pond, Mt. Kilkenny Ridge, and Bunnel Notch Trails. Access it via the York Pond Road trailhead, then ascend through maple and birch to tent sites next to Unknown Pond at mile 3.3. Next morning, set out to tackle a set of peaks that stack up like mini-Presidentials—The Horn, The Bulge, and Mt. Cabot—before descending Bunnel Notch about 1,500 feet back to your car.

Maps USGS quads Stark, West Milan, Pliny, and Range

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