SHORT HIKES IN KINSMAN COUNTRY
BALD PEAK: 5/28/10
A morning jaunt up to one of our favorite spots: the ledgy knob of Bald Peak on the west flank of North Kinsman, accessed by the Mount Kinsman Trail and a spur path; 4.6 miles round trip with 1450 ft. of elevation gain. Note that there is a new trailhead with an off-road parking area, 0.3 mi. south of the former trailhead along NH 116. There is a small sign directing hikers into the parking area.
Some nice tall hardwoods after you enter the WMNF 1.1 mile up the trail.
I always enjoy the section that traverses across the slope above the first brook crossing. There were a couple of major blowdowns in this stretch.
The top of Bald Peak is a wonderful expanse of open ledge, with wide views to the west over the Easton Valley to distant points.
Mt. Moosilauke is prominent to the south.
Mt. Clough (L) and the Benton Range, to the SW.
North Kinsman looms close by to the SE.
There's also a good view to the north from a ledgy nook in the scrub, all the way to the Pilot Range and the distant mountains (Sugarloaf, etc.) in the Nash Stream Forest. Not bad for a 2470-ft. "summit."
KINSMAN RIDGE TRAIL: 5/31/10
A short evening hike up from NH 112 in Kinsman Notch. This was the first section of trail I ever hiked in the Whites, back in 1972. The climb up to the first of the many knobs on Kinsman Ridge provides a short (1.8 miles round trip) but strenuous (850-ft. elevation gain) workout. The first 0.4 mile is pretty much like this....
Then the trail levels and crosses a neat highland bog.
Some pretty woods up on the crest of the ridge.
There's a nice little east-facing viewpoint I found last year, maybe 100 ft. off the trail, before you reach the top of the first knob. Unfortunately the smoke haze from the Quebec forest fires limited visibility to just a couple of miles this evening. The main view looks ESE down NH 112.
To the NE are several of the many Kinsman Ridge humps in this area. The double-humped peak in the back on the R (2909 ft.) was once locally called Lost River Mountain. I bushwhacked up there a couple of years ago and found some excellent view ledges on the way up. The summit itself was densely wooded.
On the way back I checked out the upper, more moderate part of the Dilly Trail. This section was very obscure and difficult to follow.
I went down to the outlook, which is on a side path at the top of the very steep, rough climb the Dilly Trail makes from the Lost River parking area. This trail is open from the bottom only during operating hours for Lost River Gorge. The viewpoint looks down at the Lost River buildings and across at the steep wall of Mts. Waternomee, Jim and Blue. From here I climbed back up to the Kinsman Ridge Trail and made the rocky descent back to Rt. 112.