North Kinsman (4293 feet)

June 1996

The weather was not ideal today. The reports were calling for rain in the late afternoon. I decided to make the climb anyway, but I ended up rushing it to avoid the rain. I went too fast and got too tired and didn't enjoy myself as much as I would have liked. I also got rained on anyway (but at least it was only during the last mile down).

I ascended by way of the Mt. Kinsman Trail. This trail left the east side of Rt 116 right at the town line between Franconia and Easton. There was no sign, but the trail looked like an old road with a gate across it. There was space for a couple of cars to park at the trail head.

The trail first found its way through a maze of connecting trails and roads. It wasn't especially well marked, but anyone with a decent trail sense should be able to follow it without any problems. The trail gradually steepened, but the lower portions of it were rather easy going. After a while the trail crossed a nice stream and then began to climb more steadily. A short way above the stream crossing, the trail came to a nice, mossy waterfall. I like waterfalls.

A short way above the waterfall, the trail crossed another stream. At that point there a sign indicating Kinsman Flume pointed down an informal side trail that paralleled the stream. I followed the side trail to see what Kinsman Flume was all about. It was a little bit of a walk to the flume and when I got there, I found it difficult to get a really good view. The side trail approached the flume from above and that's never the best way to look at streams and waterfalls. Nevertheless Kinsman Flume was a flume-like formation where the stream had cut its way into a soft dike between two walls of harder rock. While not nearly as spectacular as The Flume on the other side of the mountains, it was still interesting.

The main trail continued uphill and soon came to a side trail leading to Bald Knob. I investigated this as well. Again it was a bit of a walk, but it was well worth it. Bald Knob was a completely open shoulder of rock from which there were good views of the surrounding area—and of the Kinsman Range as well. Bald Knob would make a worthy destination for a shorter hike. However, today the black flies were fierce out on the open rocks.

The rest of the climb was relatively nondescript. The trail continued uphill on moderate grades until finally reaching the Kinsman Ridge Trail. I then followed the Kinsman Ridge Trail to the summit. By this time, the cloud cover was complete, but the clouds were all high enough to keep the summits clear. The summit itself was covered with trees, but there was an open outcropping of rock just below the true summit that afforded excellent views of Franconia Notch and the mountains of the Franconia Range.

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© Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Chapin.
Last Revised: August 4, 1996