QUICK TAKE: Kinsman Ridge Trail, New Hampshire
DRIVE TIME: The trail is located just west of Franconia Notch State Park in northern New Hampshire, about 2 hours north of Boston.
THE WAY: From Boston take I-93 north to the North Woodstock exit. Follow NH 112 west out of town. The south end of the trail leaves NH 112 about a half mile north of the Lost River Reservation entrance. The north end of the trail begins at the Cannon Mountain Ski Area tramway parking lot, just off Franconia Notch Parkway.
TRAILS: End-to-end, Kinsman Ridge Trail is 16.9 miles long. A car shuttle is necessary if you don’t want to backtrack. Inclines are steep, the footing is rough and wet.
ELEVATION: The highest point is South Kinsman Peak at 4,358 feet; the lowest is 1,900 feet at Lost River Reservation.
CAN’T MISS: Boggy areas around Gordon, Harrington, and Kinsman ponds attract moose.
CROWD CONTROL: Kinsman Ridge remains relatively uncrowded, especially during the shoulder seasons.
MAPS: The Appalachian Mountain Club’s topographical map Franconia/Pilot is an excellent resource. The map is sold separately for $5.95 on Tyvek or for $2.95 on plain paper, or you can buy The White Mountain Guide ($16.95, plus $3 for shipping and handling, from AMC, 800-262-4455), which includes the map.
PIT STOP: If you follow the Gordon Pond Trail out to NH 112, you’ll end up across the street from Govoni’s Restaurant, a fine place for a heaping plate of pasta.
WALK SOFTLY: There is no camping allowed in Franconia Notch State Park, which includes Cascade Brook Trail and Lonesome Lake, except in designated campsites.
MORE INFORMATION: White Mountain National Forest, 80 Glen Rd., Gorham, NH 03581; (603) 466-2713.