Merrimack County Highpoint Trip Report

Mt Kearsarge (2,920+ ft)

Date: June 22, 2008
Authors: SueAnn Miller and Frank Price

This report adds a little detail to reports posted previously. Those who opt for a short walk from the Rollins State Park side of the mountain can make it a loop walk but the signs at the high parking lot do not make this obvious. Instead of going up the well-signed Rollins Trail look for a small sign in the trees at the far end of the parking lot that says "to the Lincoln Trail" but says nothing about an alternate route to the tower. This is the alternate trail mentioned by the Mitchlers. A short connector path leads from the high parking lot to the steeper Lincoln Trail. Abundant white blazes on rock and tree help navigate the course across and up rock and through scrub growth. This final stretch of the Lincoln Trail makes a nice up-staircase, then the Rollins Trail offers an easy down-staircase to complete a loop of 0.9 mile.

Signs just after starting up the Lincoln trail alternative indicate a connector path that apparently leads above the parking lot over to the Rollins Trail but approaching thunder discouraged us from investigating that detail and we did not notice corresponding signs on the Rollins Trail.

We also send advice to future CoHPers who hope to save time using the short routes outside of the summer season. We arrived at the park gate the previous Friday (June 20) to find it locked and only weekend hours posted. We did not have the time or inclination to hike 8+ additional miles late in the day after driving a few hundred miles, so we moved on. We caught the park open on our return drive and hours were then posted for Wed-Sun for the next week. Like many small parks, they apparently offer limited access until school is out and/or summer officially begins. Fee is $4 per person.