Hi-Cannon Trail to Kinsman Ridge Trail

HARD 73 reviews
#11 of 34 trails in

Hi-Cannon Trail to Kinsman Ridge Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Franconia, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

4.2 miles
2,345 feet





wild flowers

no dogs

Great Views of Northern Presidentials. AMC Hut and mountain lake. 4K Peak. Park at the Lafayette Campground, and climb Hi-Cannon Tr up (yellow blazed). It has some exposed rocky overlooks that allow you to appreciate the presidentials even before reaching the summit. Just before reaching the top, you will merge with Kinsman Ridge Trail for a very short distance. At the top, enjoy the views from the observation tower. There is an old/historic tramway that bring non-hikers to the summit. Once you enjoy the possibly crowded summit, return using the Kinsman Ridge in the south direction. Go past the intersection with the Hi Cannon Tr, and on the next intersection with the Lonesome Lk Trail, turn left into it. Soon you will discover that as rocky as Hi-Cannon Tr looked, it wasn't as difficult as Lonesome Lk Tr would have been on the way up in this section. You will reach the lake. If you have time, it is worth going around it on a loop trail it has. You may visit the Lonesome Lk AMC Hut.

8 months ago

A fairly difficult trail even for a seasoned hiker like me particular on a hot and humid day. It's easy going on Lonesome Lake trail but once you get to Hi-Cannon then comes it gets steep all the way. And once you get to Kinsman Ridge it gets steep and scramble all the way.

The Cannon Mountain cafe is full service with all kinds of food and even beer but the view is dissapointing.but the view from the observation tower is much better. I had a pulled pork sandwich which was bland the chili was tasty but gave me stomach pain later. The most scenic view I think is from the various scenic overlooks.

On the way down I decided to take a detour to Lonesome Lake via the Dodge Cut-Off trail and enjoyed a swim there and friendly chat with AMC hut staff there. I think this trail has to be done with a pit stop at Lonesome Lake otherwise all that steep climbing and scramble will be hard to justify. It does add to the mileage but it's an easy flat hike to the lake.

9 months ago

Had a great day for hiking. Had the whole trail to myself all the way to the top. The summit was busy but had lonesome lake all to myself on the way down.

10 months ago

Beautiful piece of trail and picked a perfect day to do it. Would never do it in bad conditions (way too exposed). Trail conditions now are pretty good but watch out for slippery slabs. I would strongly recommend that if the weather is good, take the detour to lonesome lake, a really good place for bird watching.

11 months ago

Nice and Steep right out of the gate. Totally socked in all day so no view but you can tell it would be stunning. Tons of deep snow, hiking in the tree tops. Good day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Went hi-cannon to Kingsman ridge to the lookout tower in late November. There were already a few inches of snow that had accumulated, which resulted in some neat views.

The trail to the summit is made up of two separate ascents: the first to the flat area that lonesome lake is on, and the second up to the summit (there is a brief flat spot while you're in the vicinity of lonesome lake). The initial incline is quite step, but the second incline lets up a little, and also affords great views of Franconia notch.

I can see why people who are afraid of heights would be scared by the ladder, but I thought it was pretty neat. It's also nowhere near vertical, more like 30-40 degrees up from horizontal.

The lookout tower is a great place to be, even in sustained 25mph winds (-4 degrees with wind chill when I made it, glad I brought the hard shell layers).

Friday, November 10, 2017

Really fun trail, very diverse! Pretty steep from the beginning, but not overwhelming. The ladder added some fun to the trail, loved the views along the way. Went up and back down Hi Cannon. The top 1/3 is pretty icy now.

Monday, October 30, 2017

loved it!! went hi cannon to kinsman down lonsome lake. would rate at hard... lonesome on the way down was incredible

Sunday, October 22, 2017

enjoyed this trail very much. very primal feal to the rock formations and old growth vegetation. have admired the views from the ski slopes all my life but got a whole new perspective. will do it again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nice forest with very steep granite that was more like climbing /scaling a wall then hiking in many places. Also couldn't see any trail markers, had to use gps and the trail I found to start on was lonesome lake trail which eventually joined hi -cannon trail.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I found Hi Cannon trail to be somewhat scary. Part of the trail runs very close to the edge of a clif. Looking down at the highway was nerve racking. THEN scooting across a wooden beam after climbing up a latter almost gave me a panic attack. Wow. Just be ready for it.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Attempted this summit in the rain this morning. DEFINITELY trying again on a better-weather day. Wonderful trail; far less trafficked than others in the vicinity (during the Columbus holiday, leafing season.) One "warning": there's a ladder that climbs pretty much straight up at one point. I couldn't figure out how to cross this section of trail with a leashed dog, so turned back and headed over to Lonesome Lake. Will take suggestions from dog-hiker people if you have them :-))

Monday, September 18, 2017

Did it by myself, about 1.5 hours up via Hi-Cannon, and another 1.5 down via Lonesome Lake, including the Lake loop. First part of the way up included lots of scrambling, but it leveled out for the last quarter

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Amazing views along the trail. Not an easy one, however definitely worth of checking it out!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Completed September 1. This was just a fun hike. Great views from the trail, a ladder, fantastic views from the summit (even on an overcast day), and a really convenient location.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fairly straightforward hike. Requires some rock scrambling and the hands over feet ladders are an awesome touch. Signage connecting you to the kinsman ridge trail is limited so be sure to be aware of the trace if you're trying to do the kinsmans and cannon together.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

We hiked it 7.29.17 and really enjoyed this trail! The small bridges at the beginning crossed over the small streams and then the elevation quickly increased. There are several large boulders along the side of the trail and ones that you need to walk around that were beautiful to look it! Amazing views of Lonesome Lake once you reach the tree level elevation. It's steep getting to the Kinsman junction and 0.4 miles to the Observation Deck at the top. The 360 degree views were unbeatable ⛰ !!! We ate dinner on the ledges facing Lafayette, Lincoln, Little Haystack, and Liberty. The timing was perfect to eat there because the tram was closing and all the visitors (non-hikers) left. Nice hike down and having the campsite store open and bathrooms to change was superb! Plan on spending time finding parking this time of year.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Nice, challenging climb! Took us about 2 hours. Gets steep at the top; as someone else mentioned, kind of like a rock stairmaster! Some scrambling is needed . Took the Lonesome Lake trail down which was quite rocky but beautiful. Overall excellent for a novice hiker. enjoy!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Good trip. very wooded with lots of fallen trees. Was quite wet from rain the night before which made for some slick rock faces and a few muddy trails. Gets interesting and scenic as you approach the summit. Ladder was a pleasant surprise as was the unusual granite "bunker". Took about 2.5 hours of actual climbing from the Lafeyette Place Campground lot to top, plus another 30 min stop for lunch. Tweaked knee coming down the observation tower, so we stopped at the summit bar and enjoyed "the highest taps in NH" before taking the tram down for a gimpy 2+ mile walk on the bike trail back to the car.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Great hike, steep at times though. Views were amazing going up and the ladder was a little fun bonus. Would definitely hike it again!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hiked up hi-cannon trail as my first hike today. The views are breathtaking however this trail is very steep and was very hard as a first hike. It took us 3 hours to make it up

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Good hike, not crazy challenge but there are some rocks that get slick if it has rained. Bar at the top is a nice bonus. Fun ladder on trail too.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Definitely very crowded at the summit due to the tram and the cafeteria closes at 4, so make sure to plan for that (my gf and I missed it). It is possible to take dogs as quite a few people did, including myself, but just be aware that it involves traversing a 20' ladder with your dog on your lap. I have a 50 lb pit bull that sat on my lap as I sat on the ladder and went backwards upwards (not easy). Overall a great trail, definitely difficult and slippery in the rain though, but a much welcomed added challenge!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Loved it, very quiet mid week. Hardly any bugs. Great trail. Parked at Lafayette Campground.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hi-cannon trail was pretty nice and easy going up other than the ladder part, pretty much all ice, definitely being traction in the winter. Went down towards lonesome lake trail after summit(boy was that a mistake) very steep and slippery, pretty much sled down on my butt the whole time. Much better off just going back hi-cannon trail again.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Went in early November. Generally great hike but certainly not easy. Definitely Sore the following day. The top was extremely frozen almost like mars, but the view was pretty epic even though the clouds were making half of the view only like 50 feet long. Overall really great hike! reason for 4 stars is lack of views prior to top. Only glimpses through woods. Would still definitely hike again though

Monday, October 17, 2016

The trail is great but the top is crowded

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Very steep at the end of the trail and I freaked at the ladder but did it... and didn't regret it because de view from Mt. Lafayette and Lonesome Lake was awesome!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Great hike up Hi-Cannon to the summit and back down by Lonesome Lake.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great hike, lots of scrambles! Wicked awesome ladder on the Hi-Cannon Trail, and great views at the top. Bring good shoes, either trail down is pretty technical, for novices.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This trail was beautiful . The scenery was absolutely breathtaking . My fiancé and I took this trail in the rain . Then when we got to the top of mountain he proposed . There were lots do picturesque views. Lots of streams that you had to hike up. I do recommend wearing hiking boots and bringing a walking stick. I fell a lot of times due to my sneakers being wet mostly from the rain but also from the streams . Going down the trail was very challenging however the whole thing is worth it just for the gorgeous views and of course extra worth it for me since I got a proposal

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