North Kinsman Via Kinsman Ridge Trail

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White Mountain National Forest

North Kinsman Via Kinsman Ridge Trail is a 11.9 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Woodsville, New Hampshire that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.9 km Elevation Gain: 970 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

running

views

blowdown

Parking at the trailhead in winter may be limited, the lot is not regularly plowed.

hiking
bugs
icy
3 days ago

Did not wear spikes. W our ten year old. Aborted just before the ridge. Lots of running water. Lots of ice. Spikes might not be essential but pretty close. It’s still a little sketchy.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
9 days ago

So nice to enjoy the outdoors! Definitely bring your micro spikes. Top half still completely covered in snow and ice.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked 3/21/20 with micro spikes. Snowshoes not required though did deal with some rare post-holing. As it got warmer throughout the morning, we saw more slush and post-holing, again nothing significant. All in all a little more pleasant than the fishin jimmy trail because you get the elevation gain out of the way earlier

Relatively gradual incline for the first several miles. Compared with other trails up, this gets much less traffic until the Kinsman Ridge, providing a unique experience. Continue on to South Kinsman to bag two peaks and if you skip Bald Peak, total distance is 9.9 miles.

hiking
4 months ago

A bit of fresh snow today I was “breaking the trail” of the fresh new snow (maybe 2”) up to the ridge but the base of the trail was well packed. Used spikes most of the day but switched to snowshoes on the ridge where it was a little deeper (and most other people- presumably coming up from the Lonesome lake side - had snowshoes) and spikes weren’t quite the optimal choice. No view at either of the summits (went down to south kinsman which is another 0.9 miles past north kinsman) but still a beautiful and challenging walk in the woods with fresh fallen snow - very cold on the ridge!

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty average 4k hike. North Kinsman is pretty underwhelming from the summit, but has a nice veiwpoint, and South Kinsman is a hop away and has pretty fantastic view.

hiking
4 months ago

AllTrails is incorrect. The written “getting there” is not for this trail. That is for Cannon via Kinsman, which is a 3.8 mile out and back. Same trail “kinsman ridge trail” but the other side of it. You could do a point to point 5ish mile trail. anyways, for the trail listed in the map, you do not park at Cannon. There is no exit 2 anyways... you take 34C off of I-93, turn left past Cannon, then one left- keep going another 4 miles down to Easton rd, take a left and go about 2 miles. The GPS for this trail is right, but our maps got screwy with it. There’s a small brown trail sign on your left, right after a farm. Trailhead has a small parking area for 6ish vehicles. No water or toilet. Trail was great, did it Dec 31st.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
6 months ago

Fun hike! Just enough snow to make it interesting and beautiful. Kept going to South Kinsman. View was better at North.

hiking
blowdown
icy
snow
6 months ago

Nice hike on a mostly clear and cool day. I had the trail to myself once I took the turn up to the peak. A few wet/muddy spots but nothing serious. Lots of blowdowns due to a recent strong storm. Above about 3600 feet the trail become more & more icy with a light dusting of snow. Bring and use microspikes...once you get to the trail signs and up to the summit it was very icy. Views at the top were great but cold and windy.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Trail is nice and marked well.

hiking
8 months ago

Good hike, challenging for me as I started cramping up close to the top of North. Starts off easy, then alternates between steeper and moderate until about MP 3.5, then steeper and rockier to the Kinsman Ridge trail junction, then up to North (some scrambles). Decided to keep going to South and return. Best views are off the ledge on North into the notch, and off South in all directions. (keep in mind South has two "summits" the USGS is first, to the left of the trail, the generally accepted one is on a small rise about 200 feet further on with a large cairn). Trail was dry, weather around 60 degrees. saw 5 other hikers, two dogs. Trail is easy to follow and in good shape. Nice paths to Bald Peak and Kinsman Flume around MP 2.1. ^ hour book, completed in 7 with breakes.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
10 months ago

We were the first one in the parking lot at 6:00am. We did not begin to see anyone on Mt Kinsman Trail until our decent. Overall a good hike. The views were very hazy, but I enjoyed them just the same.

muddy
Tue May 28 2019

Did Kinsman's via rt 116 trailhead. No spikes needed although a few patches of snow but able to get around. Aggressive hike but first half of trail was very moderate. Second half very wet. Not very buggy yet. Definitely recommend the bald knob outlook.

hiking
Fri Feb 15 2019

Did this one back in 2011 and hope to do it again soon.

Sat Oct 20 2018

Did this with Bald Peak, North Kinsman, and South Kinsman. Great hike, very moderate and relatively flat until the junction with the Bald Peak spur trail. After that it gets a bit steeper (with the steepest section being right before the ridge trail junction). That last section right before the North summit was completely covered in ice which made it take way longer than it normally would have as I didn't think to bring along my micro spikes....view from Bald peak is lovely so definitely worth the very short side trip. The outlook right off of the North Peak is fantastic as well.

Wed Oct 10 2018

Great hike. Did this on 10/8/18. Intended a hike to Bald Peak, which was completely cloud covered as in you could only see about 100 feet. Decided to keep going up to the ridge and take a look. Trail was very wet, leaf covered, and slippery. View from the top was just as cloudy, but it was a nice hike nonetheless. If i had been better prepared, I would have kept going. I think a great hike would be starting at Basin and go up to Lonesome Lake, along to Kinsman and back down, planning your return transport ahead of time.

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

Honestly I didn’t think this was as bad as I expected it to be. Probably the easiest 4K footers I’ve done so far (for reference I’ve only done 3). I didn’t have the energy to go over to South Kinsman though that was 0.8-0.9 miles further. All and all a nice hike. Unfortunately had too many clouds for a decent view but if it was clear it would have been a pretty good view I think. But my feet do hurt.

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

Intense. Rewarding once you finish but it is all uphill the way up - the breaks are when it’s only slightly uphill. Coming down the quads took a pounding too, but like I said it is a very rewarding hike. It took us 4 1/2 hours to hike and we spent 40 minutes lounging at the top to recover.

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