Kinsmans via Mt. Kinsman Trail: Trip Report

Today I headed up the Mt. Kinsman Trail from Rt. 116 to North and South Kinsman, two of NH’s 4000-footers. The drive itself is incredible — look closely at the granite along the road, for it contains garnet and is unique to Kinsman Notch.  When you’re done hiking, stop by the picturesque Beaver Pond (right by the AT crossing at Kinsman Notch) before heading back to the hostel.

Mt Kinsman trailhead
The trailhead sign is very modest considering the epic-ness of the views to come.
Mt Kinsman Trail
The trail starts out nice and easy. I chatted with Bruce, the guy who maintains this trail, along the way. He was already well into his spring trail clean-up work.
Maintenance shed, Mt. Kinsman Trail
You’ll pass this locked maintenance shed soon after starting down Mt. Kinsman Trail. This section of the trail is still private property.
Mt Kinsman Trail
Happy to be out on the trail!
Mt Kinsman Trail water crossing
Some easy water crossings along the way. Mud was minimal.
Mt Kinsman trail cascade
A pretty little cascade along the trail.
Bald Peak trail sign
Bald Peak is a great spot with a view that’s only 0.2 miles off the trail.
Kinsman Ridge Trail sign
Made it to Kinsman Ridge! From here, I headed over North and South Kinsman.

The Appalachian Trail runs along Kinsman Ridge over Mt. Wolf, South and North Kinsman (both 4000-footers), and then descends down to Lonesome Lake. Meanwhile, the ridge continues over the “Cannonballs” and finally ends on Cannon Mountain.

Kinsman Ridge Trail
Kinsman Ridge Trail
North Kinsman
Incredible views from the lookout just below the summit of North Kinsman. I was starving by the time I got up there so I stopped here for lunch. It was so peaceful.

Kinsman Ridge offers spectacular views. In this video I took from North Kinsman, you can see the rest of Kinsman Ridge (the Cannonballs, Cannon Mtn.), Lonesome Lake, all of Franconia Ridge (LaFayette, Lincoln, Little Haystack, Liberty, and Flume), Loon ski mountain, and beyond.

My camera died before I made it to South Kinsman, so you’ll have to come up here yourself and check out the 360-degree views from the summit. Overall an amazing day, and I met lots of great people along the way.

— Serena

Serena and Justin Walsh
Serena and Justin Walsh are the owners and managers of the Notch Hostel
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