The Kinsman Mountains, North Kinsman (4,293 feet) and South Kinsman (4,358 feet) are two peaks in Franconia New Hampshire. Both summits offer incredible views of Franconia Ridge. They are most often hiked from the trailhead located at Lafayette Place Campground off of I-93.
North Kinsman Height: 4,293 feet
South Kinsman Height: 4,358 feet
Elevation Gain: 3,159 Feet
Mileage (Round Trip_: 10 Miles
There are two main ways to hike up the Kinsmans, one off of 93, where hikers start at Lafayette campground, and the other off of Route 116 from the west.
Lonesome Lake Trail
The lonesome lake trailhead is located at Lafayette Campground just off of I-93, you can park on either side of the highway to access. This is the most common route up to North and South Kinsman.
The from the trailhead, hikers will reach Lonesome Lake in 1.2 miles, and the Lonesome Lake AMC hut is 1.5 miles from the trailhead. There are two options to the summit of North Kinsman from here, the Fishin’ Jimmy Trail, and the Kinsman Pond Trail.
Fishin’ Jimmy Trail
The Fishin’ Jimmy Trail is a 2 mile trail connecting lonesome Lake and Kinsman Pond.
Kinsman Pond Trail
The Kinsman Pond Trail can be accessed from a connecting trail off of Lonesome Lake, or from the Basin Cascade trail located at the Basin off of I-93.
Kinsman Ridge Trail
The Kinsman Ridge Trail connects Mount Cannon to North and South Kinsman. This is the ridge trail that connects each mountain. This trail is part of the Appalachian trail.
Mount Kinsman Trail
The Mount Kinsman Trail offers an alternate route up to North Kinsman from Route 116. You can also access Bald Peak from this trail.
Lafayette Campground offers spaces for campers, tents, and car sleepers alike. You can learn more about the options, daily rates and more here. Directions located below.
Kinsman Pond Shelter Camping
The shelter sits at 3,750 feet adjacent to Kinsman Pond less than a mile from the summit of North Kinsman. Rates are $8 per night per hiker, reservations only accepted for large groups. You can learn more here.
Lonesome Lake AMC Hut
The Lonesome Lake AMC Hut is one of the most trafficked huts, but is absolutely gorgeous. It is in a very convenient location being only 1.8 miles from the trailhead. You can learn all about the hut on AMC’s website.
To Lafayette Place Campground for the Lonesome Lake Trailhead:
You can access the Basin, and the Basin Cascade Trailhead from the exit south of Lafayette Campground.
Directions Mount Kinsman Trail:
A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 36. Southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Snow before 7pm, then snow and areas of fog between 7pm and midnight, then areas of fog and a chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 31. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
Patchy fog and scattered snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 33. West wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Isolated snow showers before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. West wind 5 to 10 mph.
Snow likely after 9am. Cloudy, with a high near 30. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow. Cloudy, with a low around 29. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 7 to 11 inches possible.
Snow likely before 10am, then snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 29. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about