With hiking more lately and a 2 month old baby, I'm a bit behind on editing pictures and posting trip reports.
North and South Kinsman
Lonesome Lake Trail --> Fishin' Jimmy Trail --> Kinsman Ridge Trail --> Back the same way
Distance: 9.384 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2,536 ft (overall) 3,175 ft (total)
Time: 3:54 (North Kinsman) 4:36 (South Kinsman) 5:12 (North Kinsman) 7:48 (total)
For this hike I arranged to go with a college friend that is only in NH for a short time this spring/summer before going back to western NY. She left the hike plan all up to me knowing what my hiking goals were for the year and that I have hiked more places in NH than she has (she has done Washington a few times and some other places). Knowing the day would be nice, I decided something with good views was in order so I chose the Kinsmans. Add in going past a hut next to a mountain lake and it gets even better.
The trail starts off pretty gentle and steadily climbs up the mountain. At times the trail gets a little rocky, but it's pretty easy to walk around them or from one to another. After one switchback and what doesn't seem like a lot of time, the trail starts to level out. There are still some rocks here, but Lonesome Lake isn't far away now. We quickly got to the lake, took a few pictures, and then headed around the lake to the hut. The trail here was a bit muddy, but roots, rocks, and bog bridges keep your feet pretty dry.
Climbing the hillside
Lonesome Lake with the Kinsmans behind
We made a quick stop at the hut and adjusted our gear before heading back up the trail. The trail gains a little, then looses a little. Then gains some more and looses some more before finally continuing up the mountain. The ups and downs aren't bad here, but do include some rocky spots with one having carved out steps. Further up the trail there is one steeper climb that has a short break after it before leading into the second steep climb and then the junction with the Kinsman Ridge Trail. These inclines have some tricky spots with large step ups and roots. But the biggest rock slabs have wooden steps added to them to make things easier.
Coming up to some steps
The Kinsman Ridge Trail has a nice gentle start before gaining more elevation. This trail isn't overly steep, but has some spots where you need to climb up and over some tall rock sections that keeps it interesting. After a little while of hiking, we rounded the corner at the summit next to the rock that seems to be the high point. I showed my friend where the view point was, but said we'd stop there on the way back. We were going well and it was time to do the short hike over to South Kinsman.
Kinsman Ridge Trail
The trail going down North Kinsman is steeper than the trail heading up South. Going down there are some rock slabs that could be tricky if wet. But going up it's just a pretty steady climb that isn't overly steep. Before long we were at the open summit of South Kinsman. It's the second hump with the larger cairn as one group up there didn't know when they stopped at the first hump. While Franconia Ridge is blocked somewhat by the rounded summit, there are still some great views here. You can see in all directions from the top.
Miles on the summit cairn
South Kinsman view
After a nice break and a snack, we headed back to North Kinsman. Climbing up out of the saddle between the two wasn't too bad with nice dry conditions on the bare rock surfaces. Soon we were back to the top and went out to the view point. We had another nice break here. I decided to go for some dry socks, and in doing so found out that my brand new boots we delaminating from the sole. Not good for the first hike with them and multiple days of hiking planned in Maine next weekend. (EMS got them exchanged easily and in plenty of time)
My friend Jamie ready to head back down
Eventually it was time to head back down the mountain. We took the same route down that we did on the way up so things hadn't changed and we knew what they would be like. We took another break at the hut to get some cold water on the way by. We took in the view a bit along the side of the lake, but then headed down. The hike back to the car was easy and uneventful. Lot of people appeared to be heading up to the hut this afternoon with their children.
On the way back to the hut
All in all it was a great day to be out in the mountains. I got two more checked off for my goal this year and got to spend a day catching up with a college friend.
For all the pictures from the hike, just go HERE