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North & South Kinsman 7/21


New member
Feb 28, 2012
North of the Notch
Date(s) Hiked: 7/21/12

Trails(s) Hiked: Lonesome Lake, Fishin' Jimmy, Kinsman Ridge

Total Distance: ~10 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

Conditions: Sunny and warm

Special Required Equipment: None

Trip Report:

Started the day with ambitious intentions of hitting North & South Kinsman then trekking the Cannonballs over to Cannon, but it didn't quite work out that way. Started up the Lonesome Lake Trail from Lafayette Campground at about 9am - it was already warming into the 70s. My hiking partner wasn't exactly in optimal hiking shape as he soon found out, so we stopped for a solid rest on the platforms at Lonesome Lake.

Getting on our way again we began the trek up Fishin' Jimmy to Kinsman Pond. The heat really started to kick in now even with the tree cover. Stopped for lunch at the pond and struck fear into my buddy as we looked up at North Kinsman above us (I decided not to point out South a mile plus behind it). The final ascent to North peak was actually quite gradual with relatively few steeps.

The summit of North peak was nothing to write home about, but the cliff did offer some great views of the East Franconia ridge (Lafayette, Lincoln, Liberty, etc.). There were a good amount of others on the trail that day, so the cliff was a bit crowded. My buddy rested here while I dropped my pack and took a single water bottle and pole for the jaunt over to South.

Packless and feeling light, I got my jog on through the trail and made it to "South" peak in about 25 minutes. The first clearing, however, wasn't the actual summit. Reading about a cairn prior to the trip, I saw only a line of rocks blocking the clearing - a pretty good indicator to continue on the trail. I kept on to the second clearing where I found the second clearing and a much more promising summit complete with cairn. The South summit actually had more ground area than North and had some nice views too, despite the recommendations from others over on North (makes me think they stopped at the first, heavily wooded clearing). Once again jogging, I made it back to North in about 20 minutes.

My friend, now more rested, was fit to carry on the trail. We headed down to the camp area by Kinsman pond but opted to continue over the Cannonballs. Despite time not being in our favor, I was still optimistic I might be able to complete the full 12 miles, 3 peak trek. The up and down traverse of the Cannonballs were pretty brutal, however. My friend was beat and my legs were started to feel the ache too by the time we made to back to the split for Lonesome Lake. Disappointed but realizing defeat against time, I rationalized I could head back and do Hi-Cannon another time. Lonesome Lake took us back through the bog behind the lake and down to the base.

Total trip time was about 8 hours. Lessons learned: pack lighter in the heat and plan for a hike where all members of your party can keep up!


New member
Jun 12, 2013
Overall a great hike, some people fron Hanover were testing a radio broadcast system at the Summit Firetower, and didn't want us up there for long. It was a shame too, clear skies and amazing views.