I knew at some point during this adventure I’d come across a mountain that just felt so right I’d probably have to call it my favorite. But I really had no clue what mountain it would be until I visited Cannon in Franconia, New Hampshire. I don’t even know how to explain this place, but it was just incredible in every way. The views were insane, people were phenomenal, trails were amazing, and the environment was just right. I will be back!
Location: Cannon is about an hour and forty five minutes from Manchester, New Hampshire. Since Cannon is literally in the Notch, it’s not a bad drive at all and you’ll get to see some pretty amazing views as you go. The last of the gas stations and restaurants will be in Lincoln, New Hampshire (same stop as Loon) – so be sure to stop there if needed. And cell phone reception is good throughout.
Parking: I’m definitely a fan of simple parking lots. Cannon seemed simple. If you get there early enough, you might be able to get a spot in the upper lots. If you get there later in the morning, expect to park across the street with just a short walk to the lodge.
Ticket Counter/Guest Services: I didn’t get a chance to interact much with Cannon’s staff, but everyone seemed courteous, attentive, and friendly.
I usually don’t comment much on the other skiers and snowboarders at the places I go, but Cannon’s regulars reminded me why I love New England so much. These folks were helpful, sociable, and full of stories from decades on the mountains. Awesome people!
Price: I love mountains with special deals. There’s just no reason at all to not have special deals from an industry standpoint, so I was happy to see Cannon had a whole range of offerings. I went up on a 2-for-1 day and nabbed the deal with another solo visitor, so $34 was hard to beat!
Lodge: Cannon has a couple of lodges at the base, and a beautiful summit lodge. I was actually surprised by how nice the summit lodge interior was, so be sure to check it out! The base lodges could be improved a little, but overall were much better than most!
Lifts: For some reason or another, I think I spent the entire day riding the same two lifts. I didn’t mean to, but I was enjoying summit runs entirely too much that I just didn’t remember to check out everything else. Oops. So, I can say with confidence that the Peabody Express and the Cannonball Quad are great. I’m pretty confident Cannon made sure the other lifts (and aerial tram) rock too.
Trails: Cannon has phenomenal trails. If anyone says anything different to change your mind, just go to Cannon anyways and try it out for yourself. Trails are wide open, curvy, and it felt like half the time I was looking right into the valleys of Mt. Lafayette with Mt. Washington in the distance, which is pretty awesome no matter who you are. I can’t even pick a favorite trail.
Great trails? Check. Great people? Yep. Great views? Yikes yes. How about the chicken? I headed over to the Lafayette Place Food Court for lunch and for $8.25 I was handed a pretty appetizing looking chicken tender basket. Included were 3 medium chicken tenders and a side of fries.
The fries were crunchy and well seasoned, and so was the chicken! Score! Got to love when the main course and the side actually play nice. The chicken was real chicken, no gristle, and very tasty. I would recommend checking it out if you happen to be hungry at Cannon!
Final Score: 4 out of 5 Tenders