Mt. Kearsarge/Baker's Ledge Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 03/27/2010 - 03/27/2010
Trip/Event Location: Warner, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
This is a hike up to Mount Kearsarge with outstanding 360-degree views from its bare summit.
Be prepared to hike with this group as our group motto is: We go in a group and we come out as a group.
- From I-89 take exit 10 [sign says "To 114" and there's also a brown sign that says "Winslow State Park"].
- At the bottom of the ramp, head east [right if you were heading north].
- Very shortly you come to a T-stop.
- Go right onto North Road and follow that for 0.4 mile.
- Turn left onto Kearsarge Valley Road and follow that also for 0.4 mile.
- Turn right into a fairly obvious cleared dirt/grass parking area. [This may not be plowed and not so obvious in winter]. If you reach the golf course, you've gone 0.4 mile too far.
- There are no signs at the actual parking area ~ but a trailhead sign is visible just inside the woods from the parking area. It's at about the center of the parking area. If we get there early enough you can look for a blue FJ Cruiser which we'll be driving.
Ten enthusiastic GOers showed up for the Mount Kearsarge trek. The ground was bare at the start so we strapped our snowshoes to our packs. For the first half-mile, the path meandered around neat looking boulders, through deeply shaded woods. Once we reached the Lincoln Trail, we enjoyed the sunshine. For the next one and half miles this section of trail was wide and doubles as a snowmobile trail. We started to encounter patches of snow. Our adrenaline picked up when we had to use a catwalk to cross a brook that was about seven feet high off the ground.
Baker's Ledge marked the two-mile point. We took the spur path to check out the views from the cliff and have lunch. We found the views to be quite limited.
We found we would have been better off to have lunch a bit further on the Lincoln Trail that leads to a clearing with impressive views towards Mt. Cardigan.
While hiking the next two miles above the ledge, it felt like we were in the wilderness since the blazes were faint and routefinding was challenging. The trail was narrow with a few downed trees we had to climb over; and lots of broken branches/twigs were on the trail which plagued us most of the day. We started to encounter much more snow.
After a short, challenging pitch, we came upon an open rocky area where we were rewarded with some pleasant views. As the trail got steeper, many guys decided to put on MicroSpikes and Yak Traks. Continuing on our "wilderness" hike, we eventually entered a grove of old, twisted birch trees, and soon after we reached the parking lot for Rollins State Park which meant we only had a half-mile to go. By this time we were wishing it was summer and had our cars waiting here for us.
We had difficulty finding the Rollins Path to the summit and ended up going off-trail steeply over the summit ledges. We soon found the Lincoln Trail that led us to the summit.
The summit is a large, open, rocky area and the clear skies afforded fantastic views in all directions. The wind was refreshing. We only encountered a couple of women on the summit. Many of us climbed up the stairs to the firetower.
After exploring the summit for a while and posing for the requisite photos, we headed back down the trail. We found the Rollins Trail and used that to return back to the parking lot. We then hooked up with the Lincoln Trail to the descent back to our cars. Routefinding was easier since we had our footsteps to follow. We all made it back safe and sound, although we were weary.
It took about 3.5 hours for the whole group to make it to the summit, a half-hour break at the top, and about 2.5 hours for the whole group to descend.
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Perfect-10 GO-ergous out door guys perfect spring GO-around. Thank you Jon and Mike and thank you everybody for great company.Yes we did GO-rged at the end :-) See you all soon. - liketodo
- Mike, you have a very keen eye for pointing the trail. Great leading! Enjoyed all the company on such a nice blue sky day. Catch you all again soon! - WalkaboutBrian