Friday, August 26, 2011

The Kinsmans & Bald Peak 8-20-11

On Saturday, August 20th, my brother and I went to get the Kinsmans. In April, Bill and Sean did not get the Kinsmans, so we were back getting two more for Bill. If possible, we try to hit a trail I haven't taken before. We went for the Mt. Kinsman Trail. The parking lot has been relocated south down the road. There is a small laminated paper explaining the details. We parked in the lot and started up the trail. Don't pay attention to the guide where it says stay right at any forks. From the parking lot, when you come to a three way, about a half mile in, go towards the sign, and take a right onto the logging road.

The Mt. Kinsman Trail is indeed tougher than a glance at the map indicates. It was a challenge after what we did the week before. The trail was littered with many different types of mushrooms. The ground was damp and wet, and so they stood out. We decided to take some macro pictures, and they came out pretty good. We came to the Bald Knob Spur and banged a right. It was an impressive view to the southwest and also right up to the mountainside of the Kinsmans. We ate our lunch here. It felt like lunch time already after the laboring trip up so far. We continued along the Mt. Kinsman Trail, and it seemed like forever again until we reached the Kinsman Ridge Trail, really tough going on the upper sections.

Once at the junction, the summit of North Kinsman is just up ahead. In the winter, I didn't have the opportunity to stand on the ledge. I had just stood at the high point. The views were great, and Lafayette and Lincoln look large from Kinsmans. We had some more food and water at the summit and stretched the legs out over the ledge for a few minutes.

There were other hikers enjoying the summit, so when finished we pushed towards South Kinsman on the Kinsman Ridge Trail. I remember doing the trail in the winter, the snow was so deep, the trees were just a foot or two tall. Its harder in the summer, its very rocky and rooty and requires two hands sometimes for rock scrambles. Its fun. And when its flat, you get nice views. As we approached South Kinsman, we could see about 30 people on the summit. We head straight for the cairn to add another for Bill, and for me to knock South Kinsman off the Trailwright 72 list. I know have 25 of 72 on the list after going through my hikes to the 48.

On the way back, North Kinsman looks so prominent. It doesn't feel like it looks from that angle. With other hikers enjoying the North summit on the return, we kept heading down the trail. We took the spur trail to see the Kinsman Flume. Don't go flying down that trail too fast, now, especially if wet or icy. It's not a very spectacular thing to see, but its impressive. You wouldn't want fall down there. I don't think I would bring a young child down to see this Flume.

At the trail head, there is a sign for the Adopt-A-Trail Program for the Mt. Kinsman Trail. Bruce Richards is shown here doing a number on a tree somewhere on the trail. An additional sign near the end of the new path from the parking lot would help. The newer trail sign near the old logging road should face where the new trail comes from. Some people, like us, might end up on the logging roads to the south, a whole mile or more off the trail! But seriously, thanks Bruce, for your hard work!

Hike Stats
Trails: Mt. Kinsman Trail, Bald Knob Spur, Kinsman Ridge Trail
Distance: 10.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 3900ft
Book Time: 7:45

To view the full album, including some cool mushroom shots, click on the slide show below.

No comments:

Post a Comment