STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: Mt. Kearsarge
ELEVATION: 2927 Ft.
TRAIL: Winslow Trail
DISTANCE: 1.1 Miles
HIKING TIME: 2.5 - 3 hours
SEASON: Early Spring
DATE: April 10, 2010
WEATHER: Cold, overcast, icy
From route 89, take the Sutton Exit and turn right at the bottom of the off ramp. Turn right onto Shaker St for 0.40 miles then turn left onto Wilmont Rd. (also known as Kearsarge Valley Rd.). Follow Wilmont Rd for 3.00 miles then turn right onto Kearsarge Mtn. Rd. In 1.6 miles look for signs pointing to Winslow State Park and turn right on to Winslow House Rd. Follow Winslow House Rd. for 0.8 miles to it's end. Depending on the season there may be a fee to enter the State Park.
MAP: (Kearsarge) (State Park Hiking Map)
From parking look for the large trail head kiosk near the end of the loop. The Winslow Trail continues to the right of the sign and begins a gradual incline through the woods. The incline soon becomes steeper and terrain becomes much rockier making the trail seem like a dried up riverbed. After a steep chute the incline begins to level off and terrain ascends over granite rock slabs. The summit dome is bare and exposed rock with white blaze markings painted to the rocks. At 1.0 miles you'll reach the junction with the Barlow Trail. From here it's 0.1 miles over bare exposed rock to the summit. Pay attention to the direction you arrived the open summit can be disorienting and all directions appear identical as you attempt to return.
Winslow Trail - Barlow Trail Jct. = 1.0 Miles
Barlow Trail Jct. - Summit = 0.1 Miles
Winslow Trail - Summit = 1.5 Hours
Summit - Base = 1 Hour
NOTES / COMMENTS:
From the trailhead kiosk you have two trail options. The 1.1 mile Winslow Trail (right) or the 1.8 mile Barlow Trail (left). The Winslow Trail is shorter but is a steeper climb with rockier terrain. The Barlow Trail is slightly longer however less steep with a more gradual incline. Unless you are incredibly fit (and can hike the Winslow Trail without losing your breath) hiking times are nearly identical for both routes.
Mt. Kearsarge is one of the best hikes in New Hampshire and very popular. There is a picnic area at the base and fire lookout tower at the summit which offers panoramic views. There are plenty of areas to sit and relax on the open and rocky domed summit. Bring a lunch. The picture below is an ice covered sign marking the Winslow Trail, Barlow Trail Junction.