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A loop up to the top of Cannon Mountain and then down around Lonesome Lake.

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4,082' 1,244 m


1,759' 536 m


2,398' 731 m


2,398' 731 m



Avg Grade (9°)


Max Grade (38°)

Dogs Leashed

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On this hike you'll wind through beautiful woods and have great views of Mt Lafayette and the surrounding area. There is a lot of steep climbing as well as a peaceful hike around Lonesome Lake.

Need to Know

In winter, snowshoes/micro spikes/crampons are recommended. Coming back down Cannon in the snow and ice can be extremely treacherous (I spent a lot of time sliding on my butt, slowing down by strategically hitting/grabbing trees).


This loop could be done either direction, but counter-clockwise is recommended.

Start at the parking for the Lafayette Campground Visitor Center and head south along the Franconia Notch State Park Recreational Trail where you'll run into another parking lot. From here, head west on Lonesome Lake Trail and hike up this until you reach the junction with Hi-Cannon Trail. Take a right onto Hi-Cannon Trail up to Kinsman Ridge Trail enjoying the views and the forest along the way. Near the top, right after the ladder, there are some excellent views of Mt. Lafayette. This section of the hike is extremely steep and strenuous, so be prepared and be careful.

At the junction with Kinsman Ridge Trail, hike up to the junction with the ski area. To the left is a short spur (Cannon Tower Spur) that leads to the observation tower; you can go up in the tower (signage says open weather permitting). There is an enclosed area at the top, but no matter what you can climb the steps to the upper deck. This is also a great time to grab some lunch at the mountain lodge provided you don't mind hiking down a short stretch of ski trail.

After a nice break, return to Kinsman Ridge Trail and hike down to the junction with Lonesome Lake Trail. In winter, this section may be very hard to descend safely. Turn onto Lonesome Lake Trail and continue to the junction with Lonesome Lake Hut Trail. Take Lonesome Lake Hut Trail, and Cascade Brook Trail around Lonesome Lake.

The Lonesome Lake Hut is one of the nicer huts on the AT that is staffed and has breakfast and dinner. Turn right back onto Lonesome Lake Trail at the junction with Cascade Brook Trail. Continue until you get back to the parking lot.


Shared By:

Ethan Kaempf

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 15 votes


  4.4 from 15 votes
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in New Hampshire


33 Views Last Month
9,489 Since Feb 19, 2018
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From the top of Cannon Mountain.
May 24, 2016 near Franconia, NH
View down the valley from about two-thirds of the way up the Hi-Cannon trail.
Jun 7, 2017 near Franconia, NH
Cannon Mountain from Lonesome Lake.
Nov 26, 2016 near Franconia, NH
Frozen Lonesome Lake on April 22, 2017.
Apr 25, 2017 near Franconia, NH
The view of Franconia Ridge from Cannon Mountain.
Apr 25, 2017 near Franconia, NH
Mid-April partially melted crystal clear water on the boardwalk before heading around the lake by way of the marsh.
Apr 22, 2021 near Franconia, NH


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Nov 13, 2022
Johann TheMon
Oct 11, 2022
James OBrien
Aug 2, 2022
Connecticut Hiker
Aug 23, 2021
John Parks
Jun 11, 2021
Jon Hacklstein
Sep 13, 2020
Jennie Vildz
Aug 26, 2020
Matt Zglob
Hiking with my son
Aug 19, 2020
Lance Booth
4h 42m

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