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“Wee Wanderers”
Review of AMC Cardigan Lodge

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AMC Cardigan Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 1, 2013

My son and I just returned from a weekend with Wee Wanderers at Cardigan Lodge. I was looking forward to a way to introduce my 5 year old to some of what the AMC has to offer. I was not disappointed! The two naturalist who greeted us were instantly welcoming and we immediatly felt comfortable with the two Kates. As the other participants began to arrive I was a little concerned with the youngness of the overall group. (Wee Wanderers is for kids 3-5 and there were lots of 3s). My concern was short lived as we got to know the other families, how rugged the 3 year olds were, and how well the Kates were able to gear the program appropriately to all age groups. Even some older siblings, who were 7-ish, were engaged and enjoyed themselves more than they had anticipated.
The accomodations were excellent....very clean and well maintained. The library had enough children's books so that we had a few different bedtime stories each night.
It goes without saying that the food at an AMC lodge is excellent. My picky eater was willing to try new things and has even asked that I add lasagna to the rotation, although I don't think mine will compare to Tom Fisher's!
Overall a great trip, a great program, and we're already looking at the calendar to see when we can head back up to the lodge.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Tanya O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 - 101 of 126 reviews

Reviewed June 16, 2013

A friend and I just spent a wonderful weekend (Friday night to Sunday afternoon) at AMC's Cardigan Lodge. I have been there many times on Columbus Day weekend but never in the summer. The weather was perfect and the hikes to the top of Mt Cardigan (up via Clark trail and down via Firescrew trail) was invigorating. The lodge crew provided great hospitality. Tom, the Manager, has been there eight years and the continuity of his leadership shows. The place is fixed up and very comfortable. The food was delicious and varied. The two naturalists (both named Kate) did a terrific job engaging the kids in activities all weekend (starting on Friday night) and they led hikes during the weekend. All the other crew members and supervisors were helpful, friendly, and very attentive to the guests. We also found the sense of community we look for at AMC facilities. The guests intermingled, shared stories, helped each other out, and ate together. This is a wonderful place to visit!

Room Tip: The bathrooms are shared but there is one room with its own bathroom and one bed (I think a double...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank 2DMV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We have been to the lodge twice in the last year as a part of AMC Family Adventures. We just returned from the AMC Family Winter Exploration trip over the past 3 days. It was an awesome family trip. We brought our 4 and 6 year old girls and they had a blast. We snowshoed for the first time (free rentals at the lodge as part of the program), sledded, went on a guided hike halfway up Mt. Cardigan, went on a nighttime star hike on a clear winter's night, made a roaring bonfire, participated in a scavenger hunt, relay races, and had a wonderful time overall. The kids and adults all made friends easily and made great use of the "living room", library/game room, and evening fire socializing. It is a truly warm and inviting place. Meals were provided and they were all excellent - we were never hungry! Tom Fisher is an excellent host and our guides Julie, Kate and Rick were stellar. After some coaxing in the evening, Tom even regaled us with exciting stories of his days chasing Russian subs - Better than Hunt for Red October! Highly recommended!

Room Tip: 3rd floor is less noisy as bathrooms and showers are on 2nd floor Very basic bunk beds in private...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Chris K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AMC L, Manager at AMC Cardigan Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Thanks so much for sharing the positive highlights of your recent winter family experience at AMC’s Cardigan Lodge. Your comments speak to the family-friendly traditions that AMC’s played host to for generations throughout our huts, lodges, and camps. Please help spread the word and encourage others to join us for a full complement of family outdoor programs this summer.

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Reviewed October 21, 2012

Got a chance to meet up with other AMC Rhode Island members for a perfect weekend in this quaint, clean, beautifully accessible lodge. Perfect for families and even better for adult campers. The food is great, the 'croo' incredibly helpful, and the trails offer something for every level of hiker. This is the southern most AMC hut and that makes it easy to have a wilderness experience just a short drive from many northeastern cities. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Ask for a private room unless you want to bunk with strangers
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jayne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Cardigan Lodge is a good outdoors 'get away' even if you aren't there for the hiking. But be forewarned, it's not the easiest place to find. Don't bother with GPS as it's rendered inoperable once you get in the vicinity . Follow a traditional map and the directions provided on their website. In the most fastidious way, the Lodge represents the best that AMC stands for: Helpful and congenial check-in. A welcoming Lodge "Crew" made up primarily of college students that are there to help you and serve meals. Food that is served home-style and surprisingly delicious. A cost-efficient optional luncheon spread is quite sufficient for daytime hikes. Plus, Lodge members that are more than willing to point out the best trails for your daytime hiking needs. So far so good!! ....
However, the one issue I had, frankly, are the rooms. Be forewarned! Firstly, you should know that they are REALLY TINY!! They are consumed by bunk beds - at least two in most rooms, that I could ascertain. The bunks take up so much room that you feel like you are bumping into each other. As a 6' adult male, I found the beds really small. The mattresses are thin and with wooden board support - NO box springs. We're talking hard, here. After night #2, I was ready for an honest hotel room bed... So be aware if you are an adult that the room/bed situation is somewhat spartan. If you are with kids, they won't have a problem with it - but their needs in the sleep department aren't as demanding as us adult. The other problem I had is that the walls are REALLY THIN! You WILL hear the people in the room next to you. Plus, I had a snorer next door and heard him loud and clear all night. The shared bathrooms are clean and offer amenities like new shower stalls, sinks ands ceiling fans. My recommendation is to jump in the shower early after a hike. Around dinner time things get congested and you may have to wait to use the bathroom - if the Lodge is full. Otherwise, the Lodge is a rustic diversion from typical mountain accommodations. You feel in synch with nature and the beautiful surroundings. Just arrive rested and with good driving directions!!! ....
Oh, and one last thing. They do have Wi Fi, but it's REALLY slow. Plan on just checking emails. Nothing more. No big downloads allowed on this system!!

Room Tip: Ask for a single room if traveling with a significant other or friend. Otherwise it's pot luck w...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Roughouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
abrais, Manager at AMC Cardigan Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2012

Thanks for your review. We really appreciate your feedback. Cardigan is a historic hiking and skiing lodge celebrating its 75th anniversary next year. While some of our rooms are cozy, we do have some larger rooms with double beds, and some of these have private baths. The socializing usually occurs in our public spaces, and our guests rave about the spirit of camaraderie around the fireplace and during dinner. AMC does operate other lodges that offer more amenities, including the Highland Center in the White Mountains. The Highland Center features private rooms with private bath, several comfortable public spaces for socializing and relaxing, and free loaner gear, courtesy of L.L.Bean.

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Reviewed October 1, 2012

Tom Fisher, the lodge master and his team, can not do enough to make your stay more than expected. The location, at the trail head for multiple hikes, is fantastic. The lodge uses locally, organically grown vegetables. In the fall the nearby apple orchard features freshly pressed, non-filtered, non-pasterized apple juice and many other home made items. The nearby Cardigan and Firescrew mountains are totally unique, smooth sticky granite with views on a clear day of over 100 miles. The NE fall colors from the summit are why we visit Cardigan in the fall. In the fall the Red maple make a wonderful back drop for the pond in front of the lodge.

Room Tip: The lodge is at the end of the road so there is no traffic noise at night. All rooms are equal.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank ptravelp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed there for a weekend recently and had a great time. The lodge/rooms were comfortable and it is located directly at the trailhead. We enjoy a location where once we arrive, we don't need to get in the car again to go eat or get to a trail head. The price is right and the food was good. If you have stayed at the AMC high huts, Cardigan has much of the same feel, its just a nice step up.

The croo (Natalie & Charly) took good care of us. We liked their service style and they were always available when we needed something. It was clear that they truly wanted us to enjoy our visit.

We will certainly come back to try the backcountry ski trails.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank prof m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about AMC Cardigan Lodge

Address: 774 Shem Valley Rd, Alexandria, NH 03222-6112
Location: United States > New Hampshire > Alexandria
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Alexandria
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AMC's Cardigan Lodge in Alexandria, New Hampshire is just two hours from Boston. Surrounded by 5,000-acre Mount Cardigan State Forest, Cardigan Lodge offers an extensive trail network for hiking and cross-country skiing, a nature trail and swimming pond, and family-friendly programs and theme weekends. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cardigan Hotel Bristol

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