One Winter Morning: Mt.Kearsarge

It's been awhile, I know. I'm happy to say that I was able to start 2020 with an outstanding hike, and a simple one at that. I decided it was time to head back to an old favorite of mine. Mt.Kearsarge, one of the most prominent peaks in New England, is situated in southern New Hampshire. The views from the summit are outstanding. I don't know what draws me to this mountain, but whenever I end up hiking it, it's always winter.

The summit sign for Mt.Kearsarge has had people carving it for decades now.

Both trailheads for the mountain can be found about halfway up the mountain, with solitary roads that lead up to them. Those roads happen to be closed in the winter, but that's no problem, it's just road walking. The morning was cold, but the snow was firm, making it an easy hike. Once we got to the actual trailhead at Winslow State Park, we found only the Barlow Trail was packed down. We followed this one up, as it made for a better hike up.

The view from the road, toward Mt.Sunapee and it's ski slopes.
Barlow Trail

While the morning started off cold, I couldn't help but notice the sun attempting to heat the air. With the light shining from between the frosted pine trees, and the sound of snow crunching, it couldn't have been more obvious that winter was in full swing. The trail eventually brought us to the junction with the Winslow Trail. As we continued ahead, the first few viewpoints began to open up around us.

The trail junction just before the summit.
One of the first viewpoints, with Ragged Mountain to the right and Mt.Cardigan in the distance.
Toward Ragged Mountain again, with the White Mountains in the background.

My dad and I soon found ourselves emerging onto the summit ledges. Mt.Kearsarge is in the perfect spot when it comes to scenery.It's one of the few spots where both the White Mountains and Mt.Monadnock can be seen very easily. Other visible peaks include Mt.Sunapee, Mt.Ascutney, the Uncanoonucs, Mt.Okemo, Mt.Belknap, and especially Mt.Cardigan.

Approaching the summit.
Mt.Cardigan, in it's snow-capped glory.
Looking south. Mt.Monadnock is on the horizon to the right.
A clearer view north, looking over the snowy summit ledges.
The Ossipee Range, as seen from the bottom of the fire tower.

On the way down, we were able to enjoy the solitude of the mountain. On an average summer day, Mt.Kearsarge is full of people. It seems that winter days don't attract people, as we were the only ones on the mountain all day. It appeared that there were more snowmobiles going up and down the snowy roads than there were hikers on the trail. Maybe that's for the better. Either way, it felt great to be back on the trails.

6 comments:

  1. HEEEEES BAAAK... Great to read another blog entry & enjoy the cool pics! I don’t recall seeing any paw prints in the photos...

    Great job buddy!!!

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    1. Thank you for commenting, it's been awhile. Bella was there, she was a bit camera shy though!

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  2. Bella is more photogenic than the views, get her in the photos! JK, great write-up!

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  3. Nice job Evan. I too have missed the write ups. Glad you're back.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad to be back as well!

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