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.