HIKING NORTH KINSMAN

Jerry and Marcy Monkman

NORTH KINSMAN | 4,293' | Strenuous

North Kinsman (4,293') is the second highest peak on the Kinsman-Cannon Ridge. Ledges just below the wooded summit offer great views of Mt. Lafayette and Mt. Lincoln across Franconia Notch.

Note: for complete trail descriptions, times, elevation, trailhead directions, and major features, see the AMC White Mountain Guide or try our White Mountain Guide Online.

Suggested Routes

Strenuous: The Kinsman Ridge Trail, which is part of the Appalachian Trail and usually takes days to complete, accesses the summit of North Kinsman, as well as South Kinsman, Cannon, and many lesser peaks. For those planning a day trip, there are a number of trails that provide access to the North Kinsman summit. The most popular route ascends via the Lonesome Lake Trail. From Lonesome Lake the summit can be reached via Fishin’ Jimmy Trail, Kinsman Pond Trail, or continuing on the Lonesome Lake Trail to the Kinsman Ridge Trail, which travels over the undulating Cannon Balls before reaching the summit.

Trip Planning

The AMC's Lonesome Lake Hut, which overlooks Lonesome Lake and is within three miles of the North Kinsman summit, is open from mid-June to early September, offering meals and overnight accommodations.

The AMC's Eliza Brook Shelter is located on the Kinsman Ridge Trail, 3.4 miles south of North Kinsman's summit. Kinsman Pond Campsite is located on Kinsman Pond near Kinsman Junction, .6 miles north of North Kinsman's summit.

The AMC's Hiker Shuttle stops at the Lafayette Place Campground, connecting hikers with The Highland Center.

Safety in Summer and early Fall

The AMC recommends all hikers check weather conditions in advance, carry a current map and guidebook, along with a compass and knowledge of how to use it. For recommendations on how to plan a safe hike in the White Mountains, see: The 10 essentials for a safe and pleasant hike.

Winter Hiking on North Kinsman

Winter hiking anywhere in the White Mountains requires specialized equipment and skills, and experience in coping with weather, navigation, and winter gear. Extremely severe storms can develop suddenly and unexpectedly, especially above treeline. The combination of high wind and low temperatures has such a cooling effect that the worst conditions on North Kinsman are approximately equal to the worst reported from Antarctica, despite the much greater cold in the latter region. Hikers interested in extending their activities into winter are strongly advised to seek out organized trips with leaders who have extensive winter experience. Several AMC chapters offer winter hiking and backpacking instruction, and AMC offers several guided winter mountaineering trips; search for "Instruction" in AMC's activity listings. Helpful information can also be found in the AMC Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping .

Fun Fact

The Fishin' Jimmy Trail is named after James Whitcher, a man who once lived in Franconia and was featured in a story by Annie Trumbull Sloson, once a popular New England author.

Additional Resources

White Mountain Guide Online

AMC's online edition of the White Mountain Guide combines our expert descriptions of over 500 White Mountain trails and detailed maps in an online format that is easy to use and continually updated as conditions change, all for one low annual subscription fee.


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