QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 175 acres
- Trail Mileage: ~5 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: moderate
- Sights: views, open summit (1,232 ft)
The bump that makes up the 1,232-foot Mount Cutler rises over Hiram like a watchful sentry. This is a wonderful hike that can be varied — either short (and steep!), or longish (like two to three hours). The best time to hike here is at the height of fall foliage. Standing on the ledges, looking over town is like looking into a candy bowl of autumnal colors. But this hike, roughly three miles if you do the loop over the ridge and avoid the short and very steep red trail (Front Ledges Trail, I think it is called?), is really worth it during any season.
My recommendation is to go up the white-blaze trail and down the red-blaze trail (the red ones, I believe, are called Barnes Trail and Snowmobile Trail and Mt. Cutler Ridge Trail). The trails here are all named, but I found it was hard to use them as guides without a map. When I visited, there were no maps available at the trailhead, unfortunately. They are very much needed, because there are a lot of possible routes here (for a total of 5 miles of trails or so) and a lot of excellent places to see!
To do the loop I recommend, head right down the railroad at the trailhead, if you are looking toward the mountain (roughly northwest). Walk .3 miles along the tracks until you see a trail off to the left. This trail should be blazed with white marks. You’ll pass two intersections with the blue-blazed trail, keep on white, walking uphill, until you make it all the way to the red-blazed trail. Go right here, and walk along the ridge, past some lovely open ledges and views of the White Mountains and of Hiram, and down all the long way to the parking lot again. Follow the red blazes the whole way.
Directions: Make your way to Hiram village. If you come in from Routes 113 or 117, you’ll cross a bridge. Take your left after the bridge, and then an immediate right onto Mountain View Avenue. After passing a couple of houses, the road turns left and you’ll see a small parking lot by the railroad tracks.