Monday, October 8, 2018

Hiking Mt Kearsarge via Rollins Trail on a Wet Foggy Day

Mount Kearsarge is a 2,937 foot mountain located in the towns of Wilmot and Warner, New Hampshire. 
Mount Kearsarge has multiple trails and a bare rockbound summit with an observation fire tower and a cell phone tower. The summit can be reached by either Rollins State Park or Winslow State Park. Our ascent to the summit today starts at the Rollins State Park parking area. 

From the summit on a clear day lies a spectacular view of the White Mountains and Mt. Cardigan in the north, the Green Mountains and Mt. Sunapee in the west and the Monadnock Region and the Merrimack Valley in the south. The summit with its towers are a distinctive landmark and is easily seen from its surrounding communities.

As you will see here and in the video below, today's fog confined our views to less than a few hundred feet.

We chose to summit from Rollins State Park with the option of two trails. We chose the Rollins Trail beginning at the Park’s parking area. This trail is rock-bound and climbs for a 1/2 mile (1,100 vertical feet) and reaches the top over a bare granite ledge. The second trail, the Lincoln Trail, is more difficult than the Rollins Trail and we will keep this choice for another day.

The Rollins Trail, marked with white blazers, begins at the picnic area above the parking lot and follows what is described in the Park's literature below as "follows the route of the old carriage road for 1/2 mile (300 feet) to the summit". Do not let the description fool you as this is a very rock bound trail and climb.  Sturdy walking shoes are needed along with drinking water and an extra jacket.

The rain, fog, and moss-covered rocks made today's Rollins Trail quite slippery, so caution was utmost in our mind.

Nevertheless, our 
challendging 40+ minute hike up, 1/2 hour on the summit, and 30 minute descent, was a fun day on Mt Kearsarge for Pops (John), Kaitlin (Mom), Riley (8 years), his brother Braydon (6 years), and yours truly.  

A serendipitous encounter while hiking up was meeting a group of remote/radio control (RC) model truck enthusiasts and their battery-powered model trucks using specialized transmitters or
remotes. This was my first experience seeing this type of sport. The club members enthusiastically and readily answered our questions. 

Never say, “I wished I had taken my family to climb Mt Kearsarge".

Directions to the Rollins Park: 

From New London, New Hampshire, take Route 89 South to Exit 9, Right at end of exit ramp onto Rte. 103 east towards Warner for about 1 mile. Pass straight through a small roundabout on the way. Take left on Kearsarge Mountain Rd, marked by sign for Rollins State Park and Indian museum. Go up 5 miles to park entrance, then turn 3 ½ more miles to parking lot to begin hike. The moderate ½ mile trail goes to the summit, starting left of portapotties. Take same trail down. Trail involves some hiking on exposed rock and some steepness.

For a map and more information on Mt Kearsarge go to:  

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