Many readers on this Forum have been to North & South Kinsman and we've each experienced the same views and taken the same trails to these peaks. However, each person comes away with unique perspectives and personal favorites about this hike. This trip report merely describes those things that I enjoyed on this particular hike to these two peaks.
First of all, it was a real treat to hike with two of my buddies, Steve and Marty. There they are on the ledge just below the summit of North Kinsman as they prepare to have lunch and soak in some sun & views.
One of the many aspects of this hike that I found particularly eye-pleasing is something that's unique to winter hiking. There was a really masterful work of art that "Mother Nature" had created by sculpting the snow into a twisty pattern seen in the photo below. It sort of resembled similar works she has created with beach sand!
And during the winter months, the hike itself is a real "hoot" for me. What's not to like about walking through a snow-covered forest?
Another one of my favorite things about this hike is gazing straight down at Kinsman Pond from the edge of the sheer drop-off on the east side of North Kinsman. I've seen this view of the pond in different seasons of the year, and each time it's still a thrill. But, as you know, you really need to be there in person to gain the perspective that's needed to appreciate the view in the photo below.
Although I like peering straight down at Kinsman Pond from the cliffs of North Kinsman, I really, really like the view of this pond that you get when hiking between the two Kinsmans. I have better photos of this view that I've taken on other occasions, but here is what I saw on this trip.
And then, there are the sweeping vistas that you get on this hike which I think are just awesome! I love those viewpoints along the way where at one fell swoop you can see Cannon, plus all the high peaks on the Franconia Range from Lafayette to Flume.
I also love the unique view from South Kinsman where the top of Bondcliff is seen over the ridge leading up to Liberty, and where Mts. Liberty, Flume and Carrigain appear to be tightly bunched together from this particular viewing angle!
Besides the sweeping vistas, it's also enjoyable to see things that are closer at hand, like Harrington Pond and Bog Pond. I've never been to either of these places, and so it's great to at least get a bird's eye view of both of these ponds from the summit area of South Kinsman.
Upon approaching Lonesome Lake near the end of the day, the performance of the "Alpenglow Light Show" was just coming to an end. I managed to witness just a few seconds of the "show" before it closed for the evening. The snapshot below isn't one of the better examples of the alpenglow phenomenon, but sometimes you take what you can get!
So, those were a few of my favorite things on my hike to North & South Kinsman. I'm certain that others who've have hiked this same hike, have their own unique set of personal favorites.