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North and South Kinsman Mountains

Video by Joseph Getts:

Joseph Getts is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire who enjoys the limitless outdoor activities that the Granite State has to offer.  Joseph works at Great North Aleworks, a local craft brewery located in the state’s largest city, Manchester.  When Joseph isn’t pouring beer in the Tasting Room, he’s drinking it on top of one of the 48, 4,000+ foot peaks located in the White Mountain National Forest.  Joseph has a YouTube channel with the name “Getts Wild” where he showcases the natural beauty of New Hampshire and beyond through his “vlog” style videos.


Route Taken – Northeast approach from Lafayette Place Campground

Lonesome Lake Trail to Hi-Cannon Trail = 0.4 miles

Hi-Cannon Trail to Dodge Cut-Off = 0.8 miles

Dodge Cut-Off to Cascade Brook Trail = 0.3 miles

Cascade Brook Trail to Fishin’ Jimmy Trail = 0.3 miles

Fishin’ Jimmy Trail to junction with Kinsman Pond Trail = 2.0 miles

Kinsman Pond Trail junction to Kinsman Ridge Trail = 0.2 miles

Kinsman Ridge Trail to North Kinsman Summit = 0.4 miles

North Kinsman Summit to South Kinsman Summit (via Kinsman Ridge Trail) = 0.9 miles

South Kinsman Summit to North Kinsman Summit = 0.9 miles

North Kinsman Summit to Fishin’ Jimmy Trail = 0.4 miles

Fishin’ Jimmy Trail to Kinsman Pond Trail = 0.2 miles

Kinsman Pond Trail to Cascade Brook Trail = 2.5 miles

Cascade Brook Trail to Dodge Cut-Off = 1.1 miles

Dodge Cut-Off to Hi-Cannon Trail = 0.3 miles

Hi-Cannon Trail to Lonesome Lake Trail = 0.8 miles

Lonesome Lake Trail to Lafayette Place Campground and parking lot = 0.4 miles

Total Route Mileage = 11.9 miles


Total Elevation Gain = 3,550 ft.

North Kinsman Height = 4,293 ft. (28th highest peak in NH)

South Kinsman Height = 4,358 ft. (22nd highest peak in NH)



North and South Kinsman mountains are named after Nathan Kinsman (1741 – 1822).  Nathan and his family were early settlers in the valley to the west of the Kinsman Mountain Range in 1782.  They were from the Ipswich, Massachusetts area and are local legends for their journey by ox-drawn cart through the Pemigewasset valley wilderness to the area where they eventually settled.  Nathan Kinsman was a well-respected citizen who was a doctor, coroner, and farmer in addition to the many other hats that he wore.


About the route taken and the Kinsman Mountains in general:


The Kinsman mountains are in the western region of the White Mountain National Forest and afford tremendous views to the east in the form of the Franconia Mountain Range and the valley below with the scenic and well-visited Franconia Notch State Park.  It does not matter which route is taken to summit these 4,000+ foot peaks, the elevation gain is substantial.  The most difficult section of trail for the route taken in this video is the 2 mile stretch of the Fishin’ Jimmy Trail.  This is where the most elevation will be gained in the shortest distance.  In other words, it’s very steep!  The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and its volunteers have done a lot of trail work and have built wooden ladders and have carved steps into the rock to help hikers navigate this section.


The highlights of the route taken are Lonesome Lake, Kinsman Pond, and the view from the ledge on the summit of North Kinsman.  Hikers will also see one of the AMC’s Huts on the shore of Lonesome Lake that serves as lodging for Appalachian Trail through-hikers and weekend hikers alike.  The huts can cost over $100/night to stay at and spaces book up fast.  Included in the cost is a bunk to sleep on, three hot meals, and bathrooms with running water.  There are limited spots reserved for Appalachian Trail through-hikers that can stay the night in exchange for helping with daily chores around the hut.


The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) runs along the Kinsman Ridge, Fishin’ Jimmy, and Cascade Brook Trails and during the summer months it is very common for day hikers to run into A.T. hikers and have the opportunity to talk to them about their trail experiences.  In this video, Joseph is seen with three young A.T. hikers atop North Kinsman mountain.  He met and spoke with many others that were not featured in this video, too.




The 4,000-Footers of the White Mountains: A Guide and History, Second Edition by Steven D. Smith and Mike Dickerman