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