Kearsarge

Cloudy and crowdy but worthwhile.

On this holiday long weekend I did not want to jostle for a parking space at the popular hiking spots in the White Mountains, so I decided to head south to Mount Kearsarge. It is also very popular – too popular, as its worn, eroded trails will attest – but at least its broad, open summit allows the crowds to spread out. I was last up there in November, with a bit of early snow and ice visible; on that day I had foolishly typed “Mount Kearsarge” into my nav system and ended up on the far (southern) side of the mountain, in Rollins State Park – where the road climbs far up the southern ridge to a parking lot less than a half mile from the summit. So this time I was more careful, parking in Kearsarge State Park on the northwest side – allowing a 1.1 mile climb of the rocky Winslow Trail and descent via the 1.8 mile Barlow Trail.

Half way up the Winslow trail to Mount Kearsarge.

Although it was cloudy and windy on the summit, the high clouds still allowed for the long-distance views for which Kearsarge is popular. I flew my kite to add some color to that gray sky, at least for a few minutes, and then headed back down the longer (and muddier) Barlow Trail.

Clinging to life along the Barlow trail on Mount Kearsarge.

A few more photos in the gallery.

Hike stats:
Distance: 4.14km
Time: 1h37m including ~15m stop
Gain: 330m

Today’s hike is the red trail, counter-clockwise; orange is from last November.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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