This was actually closer to my birthday than my official birthday hike up Moosilauke, but who's complaining. Susan, Dorithy, Geoff, and I were on an overnight trip to Kinsman Pond but only I went to the top due to lousy weather. This time, we were going to get views! Geoff was going to bike to the trailhead, over Kinsman Pass and then up Rt 116 but I underestimated the distance and I ended up going back to pick him up. He would have been fine, we just wanted to start hiking. The bottom of the trail is a woods road, eventually turning into a trail where we started gaining elevation. We took the side trail to Bald Peak for the views. It's a very nice side trip with great views to the north. We even found a nice dog to pose with, hope the owners didn't mind.
Then up. From Bald Peak it's a steady climb until reaching the Kinsman Ridge trail. There are a few steep sections where the trail is down to bare rock. The summit of North Kinsman is fairly underwhelming, I don't think we even took a summit photo there. Instead we went over to the ledges, then down to the lower ledges and had lunch. From the lower ledges are some great views of Kinsman Pond and you can even spot Kinsman Pond Shelter where we stayed last trip. It wasn't a perfect blue sky day, but Franconia Ridge looked nice enough. The foliage near Lonesome Lake was looking quite nice too, but we were glad to have chosen our less traveled route.
We didn't have enough time to run over to South Kinsman so that'll have to wait for another day. We headed down fairly quickly and went our ways south after a quick stop for dinner. A good choice for more solitude on a popular mountain.
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