Mount Carrigain via Signal Ridge Trail- Trip Report

Christie Turnbow
On 3 min read

Trail Distance: 10 MilesElevation Gain: 3250′
Terrain Rating: Moderate
Hike in: 9:04AM
Hike Out: 4PM (with a 1.5-hour lunch break).

Trailhead: Sawyer River Road, Route 302. It is easily marked starting at 302. Continue down approximately 2 miles once you have reached Sawyer River Road.

Mount Carrigain can be found just outside of Boston. It takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes to drive there. The summit’s lookout tower offers 360-degree views on a clear day. Even though there was 30-40mph wind up top, we were blessed with a clear and beautiful day. Carrigain’s trail is simple: follow the Signal Ridge Trail to the summit, then turn around and continue down the same path as before. Yellow Blazes might be visible, but do not count on it.

The first 1.7 miles from the parking lot are gradual. You will see a large water crossing shortly after you have left the parking lot. This can be difficult, especially if you have had rain the night before. It was easy to navigate around, though we didn’t get wet. It is a scenic walk that ends at the first trail junction.

Continue following the switchbacks until you reach your first trail junction. The Signal Ridge is reached in 2.8 miles. The trail becomes steeper about a mile into the hike. Carrigain does not have much boulder scrambling but some rocks can be quite loose so be cautious. You will reach the junction at 2.7 miles. This is your last chance for a “bio break.” From here, the trail narrows and becomes almost like a long ramp to the summit.

You will eventually reach Signal Ridge after some serious climbing. The views are stunning, but you’re still not at the top. High winds forced us to stop for just a few moments. If you have been hiking in short sleeves, it might be a good idea to layer up.

Continue through the trees for another 0.5 miles before reaching the summit of Carrigain. This summit is marked by a large, clunky fire tower. This is a great spot for lunch, especially if there are wood panels that you can sit on. This spot was our stop for a leisurely, 1.5-hour lunch before we headed back. We were able to speed down the Signal Ridge Trail because there weren’t many big boulders. It was a great day of hiking.

  • 4L water
  • 3 ProBars, 2 Vermont Smoke & Cure Real Sticks and Summit Cookies, Turkey, and Cheese Slices
  • Darn Tough Socks, LL Bean Hiking Shoes
  • Fjallraven Hiking Pants
  • Topodesigns Mountain Pack
  • Additional clothes to pack: socks, windbreakers, and thin fleece
  • Emergency Gear: Map and GPS, Headlamps, Reduced First-Aid Kit, Swiss Army Knife, and Headlamp

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