Mittersill-Cannon Trail / Mount Willard

Date of Hike 10/11/13

Cannon-Mittersill Trail: 5.0 miles
Mount Willard Trail: 3.2 miles
Total Miles: 8.2 (3,400 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report
- After reading three different trip reports (Steve Smith's  / John Compton's  / Summerset Bank's) with beautiful pictures about the new Mittersill - Cannon Trail I was really itching to finally hike it. 
- The trail starts off in lot #1 at the Mittersill Ski area, when you pull into the Mittersill Ski Area take an immediate right and lot #1 will be down the road on your left.  At the end of lot #1 where the chair lift is there is a trail sign about twenty yards up on the ski slope.
- Ski trails offer a different kind of hiking experience for me.  First, I find them to be calve-burners!  I am so used to rock, root, and boulder hiking that it actually burns me out heading up hill!  Second, I prefer hiking through the woods and up above treeline but the ski slope hiking offers a welcome different change of pace.
- The Mittersill-Cannon Trail travels up the ski slopes / access roads offering fine views over to Sugar Hill.  The trail is easy to follow with yellow blazes on metal posts, trees, and rocks.  The trail is in decent shape for most of its length but does have a few loose rock and eroded footing sections including one soggy earth section which is slowly falling from the slab underneath it.
- Views from Mittersill Peak are well worth the hike up.  Terrific close up view of Cannon Mountain, the slopes, the tram building with Franconia Ridge looming across the notch.  There is also the best view one can get of Coppermine Col and the Cannon Balls.  Past the Cannon Balls are a nice view of the Kinsmans, too.
- From Mittersill Peak it's a short descent, followed by a left turn and then a quick right turn back up hill where you make your way up to the Cannon Tram building and hike the last few hundred feet on the gravel path with the tourists who tend to stay away from you because you smell like dirt!
- I saw a few dozen of the people who trammed it up around the summit, the weather was beautiful to be up there and everyone seemed to be enjoying the views.
- On the hike out I ran into a couple heading up, it was their first time on the trail as well, they were doing a loop, down Kinsman Ridge.  It was nice to see other hikers out there enjoying the new Cannon-Mittersill Trail.  If you get a chance check it out, it may be my new favorite way up Cannon.
- As usual when hiking alone I go at a quick pace so during the afternoon I headed to Crawford Notch for a quick hike up Mount Willard.  I had never been up but knew that there were tremendous views to be had from the ledges.  It is a quick and easy hike, a perfect introduction to new hikers.
- The views are pretty sweet, you're standing high above Crawford Notch with the Willey Range above you on your right, the notch with Route 302 and the railroad below you, and the scarred walls of Webster Cliff above and to the left.
- I'll definitely head back here in the winter after a big snowfall hoping to break the trail out and catch some winter wonderland views!
Mittersill Alpine Village entrance
Lot #1
 The chair lift at the end of Lot #1
 The trail sign is located on the ski slope
 Heading up the ski slop on a beautiful day!
 As much 'in the woods' hiking as you get
 Along an access road / ski trail
 Crossing under the chair lift
 Eroded section of the trail
 Old chairlift from the 70's
 The old Chair lift
 Great footing
 Beautiful semi open views
 Soggy earth section with slab under it
 Top of the chair lift
 Chair lift with beautiful views to the north and west
 'Single track'
First aid cache at the top of Mittersill Peak 
 Cannon Mountain
 Coppermine Col
 Cannon Balls with the Kinsmans
 Franconia Ridge
 Mittersill / Cannon Col
 Cannon Mountain
 Sign says it all!
 Mittersill Peak
 Safety fence for us bad boarders and skiers to bounce off of!
 Heading up to Cannon Mountain
 The Rim Trail
 Franconia Ridge
 Franconia Notch
 Sugar Hill
 Sugar Hill
 Mount Lafayette
 Cannon Mountain tram building
 Looking down the Cannon Mountain ski slopes
 Environmental sensitivity area
Be careful! 
 Mittersill summit area
 Hiking down the Mittersill Trail
 Bald Peak and the Artists Bluff
 Some nice birch glades along the trail
 Bottom of the Mittersill Trail
 Access Road at Lot #1  
 Mount Willard Trail
 Centennial Pool
 Webster Cliff and Crawford Notch
 Crawford Notch
 Sacco River
 Mount Webster and Jackson
 Mount Willard Trail
Mount Willard Trail


  1. Love Mt. Willard. Beautiful pictures, am super intrigued by that old chairlift :)

    1. Thanks S!

      It was cool to see the old chairlift, I had read about it before on a couple of websites and some other hikers trip reports before the trail was open and the new chairlift was put in a few years back.

      Below is a link with some great info

  2. Thanks for the report on the new Cannon/Mittersil trail - Did Cannon as my 1st 4k - so interested in repeating - this looks like a good way ! Did Hi Cannon last time - then over to Lonesome Lake. Love the pics :)

    1. Hi Wendy, definitely check out this trail, a real different and nice approach with some unique views!

  3. Hi Chris, nice report.
    My wife and I, are the couple who met you friday at the summit of Mittersill. You are faster than me. I did not had time to put the report on my website.

    1. Hi Yvon, it was nice to run into you guys on Mittersill. It was such a great day to be up there!

  4. Glad you checked out the "new" Cannon trail. The sky in your photos looked amazing that day - really cool background clouds! I prefer woods trails, too, but like you said, this one is a change of pace. You reminded me, as much as I hike, I've never hiked Willard, either. Some day . . . .

    1. Hi Summerset!

      The sky was really cool, never really seen it look like that before while hiking so it made for a nice picturesque day! thanks for your report on the trail, your report, along with John's and Steve's peaked my interest.

      Have fun on the Mount Willard hike, it's a fun one, save it for a snowfall!

    2. Hmm . . that's a great idea, maybe I"ll take Cameron snowshoeing up to Willard. Here's to hoping we get good snow this year!

  5. Chris, as always, you did a first-class job with your narrative and photos! And, mega thanks for including a link to not only my Blog, but to Steve's and Summerset's report as well. Very thoughtful of you!

    It's nice to have the new Mittersill Trail available. Not only does it provide an option for a Cannon-Mittersill loop, but it also provides an official access route to the excellent views from Mittersill Peak and the nearby ledges.


    1. Thanks, John! I'm really happy it's an official trail, what great views and a different kind of hike on the ski trails. I wonder if it will still be open in the winter, I don't think it will be, looks like a hiker would get in the way of the skiers but if it is I'll definitely be up there!