Trail Distance: 9.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2580'
Terrain Rating: Easy Side of Moderate
Hike In: 10:40AM
Hike Out: 4:03PM
Trailhead: At the end of York Pond Road right after the Berlin Fish Hatchery, about 3.5 hours from Boston
Mount Cabot one of the furthest 4,000 Footers from Boston. It's a tough trek for anyone doing a day-trip, especially in the shorter winter days. Luckily for us, we were skiing at Sunday River the day before and took advantage of the peak's relative proximity. We ended up finishing this hike in about 5 hours and 20 minutes. This was faster than our hiking time to Mount Waumbek, even though Waumbek is 1.6 miles shorter! We were lucky that the trail had been packed down already from President's Day Weekend hikers, so we didn't have to break trail. Mount Cabot is a decently good beginner winter hike, with decent tree coverage most of the way.
The first 3 miles on Bunnell Notch Trail is not super interesting. It's flat, the skinny trees aren't particularly beautiful, and there are zero views. We hiked through this as fast as possible. There were a few tricky stream-crossing areas with melting snow, but other than that is was easy going. The snow was slushy but packed down. Once you hit Kilkenny Ridge Trail, you'll start the elevation. It's about 1.8 miles from here to the top of Mount Cabot. The elevation in this area was a lot more interesting. We finally started working a bit and enjoyed a few peeks out to the beautiful snow-covered trees up top. There is a view point about a half mile before the cabin, and I suggest you take the short spur to check it out!
We reached Cabot Cabin at 1:45PM. Once at the Cabot Cabin, we ran into a few hikers. Most people will drop their packs here and head up 20 minutes roundtrip to the peak. This is also a good spot to put your heavier layers on, as the peak was a bit windy and not as covered. We took a few photos at the peak and then headed back down the mountain. It took us less than 2 hours to fly down back to the parking lot, thanks to the slushy snow!