2006-09-16, the Kinsmans... Make that Cannon MT


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  1. #1

    2006-09-16, the Kinsmans... Make that Cannon MT

    Date(s) Hiked:2006-09-16

    Trails(s) Hiked:Kinsman Ridge trail, from CAnnon Mt, parking lot

    Total Distance:4 Miles, 2 each way

    Difficulty: Lots!

    Conditions: Sunny, some breeze, Water running in the trail

    Special Required Equipment: regular stuff

    Trip Report: Originally, we planned to go up to the Kinsmans from the parking lot at the Basin, via the Basin Cascade trail. We were so looking forward to camping up top by the pond. So we gear up and start out from the parking lot on the south bound side of 93.

    First thing is a stream crossing. There are about a dozen places to cross, but none of them suit my wife. After about a half hour, I exclaim that either we can cross this stream or we can go home. She asks how and I say we brought waldies, take off your boots and walk right thru the water. Half way across, her feet are numb and she asks for help. I tell her she has to keep walking. Finally, we are across this itty bitty stream. What a hoot!

    We dry off and head south, hoping to hook up with our trailhead. When we get a ways past the parking lot, it is clear that the trailhead is not this way. So we turn around and head north. The dog and my wife walk right by a likely trail, and I have to doubletime it to catch them and bring them back. Did I mention that the map shows the trail we want, but does not name it? We think the trail we want is this one. It says ski trail on a tree. For future reference, ski trail means a real boggy area in the summer, with lots of deep mud. We think this trail will take us to the Basin Cascade trail, so we forge on. We end up basically wandering around in the woods, and never stumble across The Basin Cascade trail. Finally, we head directly for the sound of traffic (Rt 93). Unbelievable. For all our wandering, we come out directly across from our car. We never ventured more than 500 feet from the car......

    It is now 12:15 and I am ready to bag it. First an itty bitty stream stymies us, then we can't locate our trailhead, then we wander around bushwhacking and don't go anywhere.... But it's a beautiful day. I remember that the trail up cannon is a short little jaunt, so I suggest we go there to salvage the day. So it is off to Cannon.

    In the parking lot, we make up lunch and chow down. We empty my pack of the tent, stove, sleeping bag, you know, all the stuff you don't need for a dayhike. Since we do not have daypacks, we just load all the stuff we need into my pack, and my wife slack packs, rather no packs! A couple hundred feet into this klimb and I suggest that since this klimb is only 2 miles and we are going to gain some 2120 feet, that it's gonna be a steep one. A little ways in, we see some areas of extreme erosion and ruts. I am standing on loose gravel with the ruts about shoulder deep. Then we get to hard ledge and the erosion has ended.

    I figure the klimb will take about 2 hours (later on, the book says 2:05). It takes us 2:10, with an extended viewing session at the overlook most of the way up. It was a very physically trying trail. Short, but very steep, with uncertain footing due to the water running everywhere. The views are just something else. If it weren't for the late start, we'd have stayed longer, but, oh well. Since the highway goes right thru here, we were to constantly hear the sound of traffic, punctuated by loud pipes that save lives. Please, if you ride, do your pipes need to be that loud? Notable on this day were the number of gliders being pulled up and released by a single engine plane. I got a few shots of this and was thinking, what fun this would be. Who knows, some day, I may take in a nice quiet glider ride over this area of heaven.

    We check in with the tram operator. My wife does not relish the thought of descending this trail, as it is steep and many areas have a stream running right down thru the middle of it. Some areas are very deeply eroded also, from the traffic and water runoff. The tram runs until 5 PM and costs $9 a person. No dogs allowed, so we get to walk it back down. No problem. Surprisingly, it only takes me 1:20 to descend this trail. That has got to be some kind of record for me. I always need about what it took me to klimb a peak to descend it. I knocked about a third of the hiking time off.

    All in all, not too bad a day, but I'd have liked to awoken atop the mountain instead of my own bed. Not that we are aiming for the 48, but this is #6 for us. We may get all of them in a decade or so at this pace.
    lovin life,


  2. #2
    sorry to hear you guys couldn't find the basic-cascades trail head, but at least you got in a good hike up cannon. i hiked basin cascade a few years back and while i don't recall having any difficulty with the trail, i believe the woods around the trail head are very sparse thin woods, so the trail does not begin with a very clear entrance. i believe the trailhead is rather near to the basin itself, though there are two different lots, iirc.

    kinsman ridge trail sounds just as bad as the last time i hiked it re: errosion, but the views from above the cliffs make it worth it!!! i can never decide if i like looking at lafayette from across the notch or whether i like standing on top of lafayette more. tis why i call the franconia notch my play ground.

    the gliders are launched from franconia inn in franconia if you are ever interested in giving them a shot. i do a lot of hiking in the cannon area and always see the gliders up and about. looks like a fun way to spend some time!
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  3. #3
    We probably passed on the trail at some point. I was hiking solo with a white shirt and blue shorts. Most likely I was going down as you were heading up.

  4. #4
    Skibum, I suspect we talked briefly. We were the couple with the collie/shepard pooch heading up. I had a red pack on, and was wearing blue running shorts and a blue t-shirt. Too bad there is no way to put a face with a name for when folks pass on the trail. Perhaps we'll meet on the ski trails this winter.
    lovin life,


  5. #5
    i believe the woods around the trail head are very sparse thin woods, so the trail does not begin with a very clear entrance. i believe the trailhead is rather near to the basin itself, though there are two different lots, iirc.

    Steve, we just could not locate the trail. Perhaps we were looking too hard.??? Anyways, next shot at it we'll start at a different trailhead. It'll mean another mile or so hiking, buut we suspect we'll find the trail there. We'll also have our guide book printed out along with the map. That was the second time we bagged the kinsmans. Once we went up in spring. You know, just because there is no snow and ice at road level doesn't mean there isn't any up the mountain. Third time is the charm!
    lovin life,


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