April 25, 2014 / Comments (0)

Cannon Mountain, Cannon Balls, and the Kinsmans

Today I decided to do a little multitasking. I am pursuing the New England Hundred Highest list as well as working on hiking all the NH4ks in each season. I thought a trip along the Kinsman Ridge would be nice on a day with 40-50 mph winds (mostly below treeline). I needed those two peaks and Cannon for Spring. I could also get in Northeast Cannon Ball, on the NEHH list. I decided to also do a little redlining and get a Terrifying 25 trail (Hi Cannon) while I was there. Whew!

I parked at Lafayette Place Campground which is right off 93. I was the first one there at 8:00.


Lonesome Lake trail is really nice as it starts off pretty moderate. I was really pushing to get more in the woods as the wind was howling!

Eroded trail


I wore microspikes the whole way. At first the trail had a few stable monorails and patches of ice. As I ascended, the ice took over and the snow got deeper. The weather stayed stable right around freezing so the snow was solid. No need for snowshoes!

I decided to take the Hi-Cannon trail up. I’ve heard it’s a nice trail up with some cliffy views and a ladder section. I do love ladders on trails!


 For the most part, you can get away with just microspikes. There were a couple times where I had to bushwhack around a really icy section or find a couple sturdy trees. I did bang up my elbow a little as I took a spill, but it will heal!


Franconia Notch in the clouds. I was really hoping the clouds would lift!

Throughout the day the sky turned quick! One minute peaks were submerged in fog and the next I had clear skies. The wind was really moving!

The Terrifying 25 list is a fun challenge! There are two parts of the list: mandatory trails (many up Jefferson) and then you pick 5 additional trails from the optional list. I think I have most of the optional trails now. Gotta get up Jefferson a few more times!

Once you get to the junction sign right before the tower atop Cannon there is a nice viewpoint worth checking out.

The wind was really moving so I decided it would be fun to go up the tower! Once I edit the video, I will add it to this trip report.



I love the eyebrows!

Once I summited Cannon, I made my way back to the Kinsman Ridge Trail to get to the Cannon Balls. I saw another solo hiker making his way up to Cannon.


Views from Northeast Cannon Ball

Northeast Cannon Ball is the shortest of the New England Hundred Highest (NEHH) list at 3769′. The peak is just passed the junction of Lonesome Lake and Kinsman Ridge trails. It is very close to Cannon, but it is steep.

Looking back at Cannon. Clear skies again!


The descent down Northeast Cannon Ball is steep. The next peak on the list is North Kinsman. I haven’t been to the Kinsmans in quite some time so I was excited to pay those peaks a visit!


North Kinsman

I had forgotten how nice the views are from the Kinsmans. To me, these two peaks are highly underrated. I know the trails are rough to get to them, but it is very worth it!

Looking at Moosilauke from North Kinsman. One of the only peaks you get a good look at the Moose.

North Kinsman from near the summit of South Kinsman

Once I enjoyed my (very windy) time atop South Kinsman, I had to get back to my car. It was such a long and difficult hike (at least 4700′ of elevation gain) that I took the wrong trail down! I don’t know what I was thinking, but I went down the Mount Kinsman Trail and ended up near 116 instead of 93… luckily I got a ride from a family to my car (THANKS!)


Last modified: July 13, 2017

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