Explore the most popular trails in Mount Kearsarge State Forest Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

21 days ago

Awesome trail. VERY VERY ICY when I went, immediately fell when I got out of my truck, and then once more down the frozen waterfall... even with my spikes on. This trail is a no go in the winter without snow cleats of some sort. If you’re going during the winter, plan to add an extra mile of a hike in... the gate to the park is closed so you have to park by the street and hike up to the trail head. Once up top there are a ton of great views. There are even picnic tables and what I would assume is a hang gliding/paragliding launch ramp. I will definitely be back during the summer with the family, although some parts were a little steep, I think my 6 and 7 year old boys will manage.

The entire area around the original trailhead on Kearsarge Valley Road has been logged and there is no notice that the trailhead has been moved unless you happen to be coming the opposite direction, where for some reason signs alert you to that fact, but not at the trailhead. In addition, once you do find the right path after making it beyond the logged area, you walk up a broad path--a logging road--and just before a stream there is a small path off to the right with an arrow and a sign saying "stay on the path or stay home"... naturally, I took this path because there are no blazes to indicate this is a separate trail, but it was. I intimated that I was going the wrong direction, but kept going because it was still a nice walk. Ended up on a different hill and when I tried to follow another path to reconnect to the Lincoln Trail, it was impossible. No blazes, nothing. Whoever is in charge of marking these trails (most of the land in this part of the park is not state land) should be fired. I am not a novice hiker and do not easily get confused or lost in the woods, but this is a disaster. Nevertheless, great snowshoeing on the trail I did take.

November 11th, started at 7am. The trail is still diverted to the dirt road behind the high school due to logging.

Snowcover started about halfway up. The last .5 mile stretch doesn't have many cairns, so can be tricky to follow in the snow. Otherwise a nice fall trail. Bring spikes if cold, the trail winds along multiple creeks.

on Barlow Trail

3 months ago

This is a fantastic hike! While it hasn't snowed yet (to our knowledge) there was plenty of snow on the trail. We didn't have spikes which made it a bit tricky/slow going at certain moments with all the ice. This time of year be ready for the mile walk from parking to trail as the gate is shut. All in all loved this hike and cannot wait to come back in the summer!

This was a nice half day hike. I made the round trip in under 5 hours and that included the scenic overlook side trip. I would point out that the trail ranges from easy to intermediate for the first 4 miles and only becomes slightly difficult in the last half mile where you need to lift yourself over some larger rocks. If that's not your bag you can jump on the connecting Rollins trail and get to the summit with no issues. Amazing views from the top but very windy. Park at the end of Mastin road behind the high school as the other entrance is still closed

4 months ago

It was rainy, damp and SLIPPERY! Dry conditions...moderate. Wet conditions -I’d call it almost difficult. The one thing that no reviews mention is that 70% of the trial is rock strewn. This is the trail to take up - not down - if the weather is rainy.

Very well maintained trail with clear signage the whole way up and down. Not a true parking lot but still a safe little turn around area where you can pull off to the side. Definitely will be back again.

4 months ago

Good hike. Went up Barlow trail and came down Winslow. In retrospect should have down it the other way since Winslow is steeper (but shorter). A bit wet, which made it tricky for the kids (aged 5 1/2 to 8), but good fun nonetheless. Great views as you near the top on the Barlow trail, and really opens up with 360 views at the top.

Nice trail, remote and lonely while walking up. Crowded at top as everybody easily can just drive up there by car. Not recommended if you dont like the crowds.

Like David said; the trailhead is closed for a logging operation, so you will need to enter the trail from the dirt road behind Kearsarge Regional High School. It only cuts off a small section of the trail. Great Hike though.

5 months ago

It’s a short trail to the summit about 1.1 miles but it is a little of a work out. And the summit has a beautiful view. Would def come back in the future or to nearby mountains!! Drove over an hour to check it out :)

it was the trail I have been on

Awesome trail!

6 months ago

I loved this hike! It was a nice gradual elevation increase and trail had tons of tree roots an rocks for good footing. Good length and you always have the option of going back down on the shorter trail. Views are just amazing! Great hike for family and kids - did this hike with a baby on my back. $4. Fee to get into the Winslow park is well worth it! Bonus for bathrooms, playground and picnic tables at bottom and tables at top!

Beginning section closed due to logging activity. Must start from end of dirt road behind school. Tall grass almost covers the trail in this section. Otherwise a fairly gradual, meandering path up to the Kearsarge summit. From the upper parking area I continued on Lincoln to the summit but returned to the same lot via Rollins Trail then got back onto Lincoln back to the vehicle. Horse flies were seemingly prolific for the lower third of this trail.

7 months ago

Fantastic hike.. there are times where it is a little more aggressive than a moderate hike but the views are worth it. We took the the look and with about 45mins at the summit, we were on this hike for about 3 hours.

9 months ago

Good trail but still a lot of ice, making the hike a bit more challenging.

9 months ago

Great trail but tough with the current ice and snow conditions for a beginner...will definitely head back in the warmer weather!

10 months ago

A great hike! During this time of year, the gate is closed and it's close to a 1 mile walk to the trail. Bring crampons or cleats for mainly the way down. The trails are clearly marked, decent views from the tree line about half way up and the summit offers amazing views!!! Saw Mount Cardigan from the summit. The summit was very windy but perfect!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Excellent just got back used crampons no problem amazing views

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Beautiful trail - rocky, mossy, and gorgeous views.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Great trail, well marked, super busy though.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hiked this trail with a small group (3 adults 3 children 9, 6, and 5 years old). My 9 year old did well without help. The 5 and 6 year old were real troopers. They only required a little assistance on flat rocks on the way down. This is a great half day hike for families with a big pay off at the end. Summit is expansive and has 360 views with plenty of places to rest. The fire tower was open which gave even farther views.

This is the second time we've hiked Kearsarge and it's becoming our favorite local summit. I have a feeling this is also the consensus of the surrounding population as it is always crowded on both trail and summit.

If the fire tower is open climb up and visit the park ranger who appears to resent the public welcome sign as you enter. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

I would definitely recommend this trail, we climbed up Winslow and took Barlow down. Beautiful views at the top!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Great views. Slippery rocks up and down.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

We hike Mt Kearsarge in Sept 2016 and went up Winslow and down Barlow. And it was tough but great!! This time we hiked up Barlow and down Barlow also. Even though it was not as steep as Winslow it was still a workout and still exciting. A little bit of everything. Flat, roots, rocks, boulders. If you have issues with heights and wide open edges there is one part that can be a bit unnerving for folks like me - scared of heights and wide open edges. However I did it and it was not that hard. On all the rocks and boulders there always was an alternate way up and around if you are unsure of your footing on the rocks. A fantastic hike. Enjoyed it thoroughly! See my recording for the pics of the trail

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

This is not an "easy" hike. It is actually much more steep and rocky than the adjacent Barlow trail. I brought my 4yr old up it, and while she made it I wish we hadn't.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Excellent hike with my 4 year old daughter

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pretty steep, lots of root and rock step climbing. I would not call this easy and definitely not a bit much for my 3yo.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Great hike. Starts easy and gets moderate. Amazing views. Buggy at top. Family friendly.

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