Cannon Mountain via Kinsmann Ridge Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Franconia, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,263 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. Spikes would definitely be recommended (I forgot mine) but not impossible without them.

28 days ago

We really enjoyed this trail, although it was more technically challenging than we were expecting (especially because it was icy in parts) - we definitely were scrambling on all fours for parts of the icy/rocky areas! Amazing views at the top so worth the effort in our opinion but our next hike on this trail will be springtime!

1 month ago

Fogged in but a good workout. Met a really nice group of kids on the way up. Will definitely go back to see the views.

1 month ago

There's a lot to love about this hike, quick elevation and gorgeous views. The one downside is trail conditions, which are notoriously silty and unmaintained. Fun climb but a bit of a pain to descent, especially in wet weather.

1 month ago

It’s only 2.1 miles but it’s a little more steep and rigorous then I expected - felt like 3 miles. And very rocky in the middle. I wondered why I didn’t take the tram and then I saw how out of shape most of the people coming off the tram were. The view at the top and even at some points along the way was great and the observation deck is one of the best I’ve seen - but there were too many people - mostly people coming up the tram.

hiking
2 months ago

Lots and lots of fun scrambling, even a wooden ladder at about a 45 degree angle bolted into the rock face. It’s a pretty steep route, but because it’s only 2 miles or so up ,not too difficult if your a regular hiker. I did this after a storm and would have been better off doing it on a dry day as the descent can be slippery and is the trickiest part. Consider going down via lonesome lake trail if conditions aren’t ideal. Views at the top of the observation tower are unreal.

2 months ago

A good challenge. Took the tram down to avoid dealing with some of the steep, slippery stuff. It’s a pretty fast incline but with varied terrain so it stays interesting at least. There were some very muddy patches on the ridge. The view was pretty great even on a hazy day.

hiking
2 months ago

The elevation gain is probably the hardest thing about this trail; it goes up steep and it goes up fast. Can be hard to get your footing in a couple places, but I enjoyed the scrambles. Took me about two hours with a few stops at lookout points for rest. Decided to leave my dog at home for the sake of being able to ride the tram back down (my first hike without her this year), and that turned out to be a wise decision. If you’re planning on hiking this trail with your dog, make sure they are fit, fit, fit - lots of tricky terrain, including a wooden ladder that lays at about a 45 degree angle a little more than halfway up the trail. Last note: not sure how this trail got marked as suitable for horseback riding on this app, but PLEASE do not attempt a trail ride here! The trail is barely wide enough for two people to pass in opposite directions in some places, not to mention the hazardous footing.

3 months ago

This is a great workout on one of the worst maintained trails in the Whites. Nice hard work going up and rather annoying decending with lots of silt. Still, a go-to hike if you're training for bigger climbs. And the view of the ledge on the way up is awesome. Be prepared for numbnuts who have taken the tram to the top and think it would be fun to hike down. I've seen barefoot walkers carrying Uggs and entirely unprepared tourists starting down with the idea that the tram was short, so how hard could it be? Believe me, it's not a fun descent for the inexperienced.

hiking
3 months ago

I thought this trail was pretty challenging. I just couldn’t get firm footing. Going up was steep but coming down was so slippery and wet. I took a few tumbles. But I have to say the views were amazing and that made it worth while.

hiking
3 months ago

Well this is not my so so favorite one, because this trial literally does not have a concept called flat land. The first 1.5 miles you keep climbing upwards, almost every step takes you a feet higher. Every view & outlook is really worth all the effort. We went on a beautiful sunny summer day and took around 4.15hrs for out & back. I am not sure if I want to do it again. The main purpose of doing this hike was to cover all the 4000’ ers of the Franconia State Park.
Recommendation- consume as much fluids as you can to avoid any muscle spasm. But you get water at the peak as there is a small cafe (U also get beer ;) )

3 months ago

Definitely strenuous (so many rocks!) but the views can’t be beat. Just breathtaking views almost the entire way. Nice short hike.

4 months ago

This trail is an absolute beast. The large rocks during the entire ascent are pretty slippery. There’s one spot where a large sheered rock, at an upward angle, is part of the path and it was slick and challenging to maneuver, with a tree down near it. The weather prevented any meaningful views from the ridge and the summit unfortunately. One of the toughest hikes I’ve done. There is a tram to get down, if you want to avoid a pretty treacherous descent over the slippery rocks.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this trail with my 14 year old son as a Father-Son adventure. Very challenging but very rewarding.
This easily makes it into my top 10 favorite trails.

hiking
5 months ago

in the clouds the whole time so no views to speak of. The trail was wet and muddy in sections from rain the previous night which made the descent harder and a little longer. all in all a good hike I'll do again if I can get a mostly clear day.

hiking
5 months ago

Much harder hike than I thought it would be. The view at the top is well worth the effort.

5 months ago

Great hike. Not as terrible or terrifying as others have indicated here. Hiked 6/2, conditions were wet but footing was solid. Beautiful views at the top and along the trail on a clear day.

5 months ago

Great day hike day with AMAZING views! Did this March 31st and there was still at least 3ft of snow closer to the summit. Definitely need crampons but definitely doable. Highly recommend this hike on a clear day because the outlook view before the summit is breathtaking! Also at the summit there is a ski lodge you can grab a well deserved cold beer before heading down.

The climb down was easy for experienced hikers we did it in 57 minutes with snow, compared to the 2 hours it took us to get to the top with a few breaks along the way and stopping for lunch at the outlook. All in all a great hike and will be doing it again to hit the other summits in the 48, 4 thousands footers of NH.

hiking
6 months ago

Great view at the top. Very steep climb, trekking poles and micro spikes were VERY helpful. When I went last month the snow was 3-4 feet deep (off trail) and the trails were packed snow/ icy. Would hike it again once the snow melts.

hiking
7 months ago

This hike some of the coolest views once you about half way up and again once your at the top, but the trail near the bottom is kind of crappy and washed out so be careful with that but overall really good hike!

11 months ago

Decent amount of snow when I did this on thanksgiving. step from the first step to about the last though it's not too bad with the proper gear (spikes and poles at least). Not too difficult for a 4kf.
Very worth it though, great views of Lafayette, Lincoln and liberty. I would recommend this to anyone.

hiking
11 months ago

The trail was consistently steep and had a lot of fun scrambling on the way up. There were some great overlooks before hitting the summit, then the tower at the top which had nice views but was extremely busy with tram passengers.

hiking
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This was my second 4000 footer which we hiked on Sunday. The trail was moderate to difficult but quite scenic despite many views of the highway. I found the eroded trench sections hardest but definitely interesting. Lookout views were beautiful, especially the view of Lafayette. The summit area itself is pretty lack-luster but the the top of the tower offers splendid and slightly obstructed views. All in all this hike was great. Interesting and diverse terrain, gorgeous views of Lafayette and I was home in VT before dark.

hiking
Friday, October 20, 2017

Cannon Mtn was my toughest 4000 so far. First mile plus is directly uphill with plenty of rocks to maneuver. Hard work. Challenging, fun and worth every push of each leg once you stand atop what was the Old Man of the Mountain along with reaching the summit about 1/2 mile later. The views are far reaching and breathtaking.

4.4 miles out and back. 2 hours up and 1 down.

The weather, the sun and the breeze were absolutely perfect. We went mid-week and saw only 4 other people. Had the summit to ourselves on a warm mid-October day. Just amazing!

hiking
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This is not a trail and is not hiking. This is 2000 ft vertical in 2 miles of granite boulders!

hiking
Monday, October 16, 2017

Went on a Sunday and hit the trailhead around 1030a. We reached the ridge where the overlook tower is but left immediately. The tram passengers ruined everything about the great hike up.

Fog burned off during our descent and we caught glimpses of the foliage. Not as many viewpoints as there is on the opposite side of 93.

The walk around Lonesome Lake mellowed us out for the bumper to bumper traffic back down 93S.

Would recommend but not during foliage season

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

This trail was a lot of fun to go up, I love scrambling and there was plenty of this on this short trail. This trail is steep and you will gain elevation quickly. Two to three hours to reach the top depending on how fit and careful you are. I recommended spending the most time at the overlook that is about 25 minutes before the summit because the summit is crowded with people who take the tram up. Took off a star because of the chaos at the top and the views (while great) can be beat.

hiking
Monday, September 11, 2017

The steep, dirt ridden and relatively view-less climb (other than an opening part of the way up) keeps this from being a 4 star climb for me, but the views once near the top are quite breathtaking and worth the hike. The ascent is virtually all up with less than ideal footing which gives way to more rocky sections about halfway up. Probably not a 4K footer I would do again given these views could be taken in on another more rewarding mountain. I will say, however, on no other mountain have I had a beer on tap available or a ride down if you decide to forgo the descent altogether. Get your one way ticket in advance--there's no shame in cruising down after that climb!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Would recommend. nice steady climb. a few tricky spots when wet, but we'll worth it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

That was quite a steep trail right from the start. A few places were pretty tricky for my 4 legged friend, but we did it. No views on this cloud filled lookout this day, but an adventure to remember for sure. Won't take my dog next time.

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