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White Mountain National Forest: Kinsman Mountain

Tackle two 4,000-foot White Mountain peaks (and 4,000 feet of climbing) on this 10.1-mile out-and-back to a tree-covered ridgeline with panoramic views.

Rating

From an easy-to-miss trailhead along NH 116, the blue-blazed Kinsman Trail gains over 4,000 feet of elevation on its way up to the twin peaks of Kinsman Mountain (both 4,000-footers). Begin hiking through light forest, bearing right at junctions where old logging roads cross the trail and crossing the occasional drainage. After 2.6 miles, the grade eases briefly at a spur trail junction to Bald Peak—a short detour leads to a ledge overlook, but more phenomenal views await further up the trail.
After another 1,400 feet of climbing, the blue-blazed trail ends as the route joins the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (which shares its tread with the Kinsman Ridge Trail) at mile 4.1. From here, hike up the ridge spine above Kinsman Pond and Lonesome Lake on the approach to the forested summit of North Kinsman—catch occasional clearing views east of Franconia Ridge and Mount Lafayette on the climb. After descending to the saddle of Kinsman Mountain, this route makes its final climb up to South Kinsman for more unobstructed views of White Mountain National Forest. Enjoy the panoramas before backtracking down to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Michael Blair

To Trailhead

Take I-93 to exit 34C for NH 18. Turn left at NH 18/Profile Rd. In 2.1 miles, bear left at Clark-Kerr Rd. In 0.4 mile, go left at Wells Rd. In 1.7 miles, left at Easton Rd./NH 116. Go 1.7 miles to the trailhead (east side of road) and 0.3 more miles to parking.

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