View Full Version : Cannon and the Kinmans via Lonesome Lake, Hi-Cannon, Kinsman Ridge, and Fishin' Jimmy

NH Tramper
05-05-2012, 09:24 PM
Date of Hike: May 5, 2012

Trail Conditions: The day started off wet; the notch was foggy, misty, drizzly, and generally crappy. That said, Lonesome Lake Trail was in great condition, it was wet of course, but not muddy (though the section nearest the lake, which I returned on later on, was muddy and wet in places). Same for Hi-Cannon Trail, it was in reasonably good shape. There are some confusing, unmarked side trails, but I found my way. It's a narrow trail so doing it on a wet day, rubbing elbows with firs all morning, was not the best move. The rock scrambles felt safe despite the wetness, though the trail seems pretty eroded in places. Roots were slick, ice was mostly absent. The Kinsman Ridge Trail to Cannon was wet, even pond-like in places, but it was in otherwise good shape. All of the mess was avoidable with some care via rock hops, logs, or bridges. The Kinsman Ridge Trail to Kinsman Junction was rough but in pretty good shape as well, except between the Cannon Balls where there was some running water and an unexpected but easy stream crossing! Still, though, while the trails were very rough, they weren't really very muddy or broken, just wet. There was a little bit of ice here and there, little monorail orphans (mostly on north-facing pitches), but nothing of concern, until I got to that one intimidating-looking ice fall, but I was able to scoot by it up the left side. Kinsman Ridge Trail to North Kinsman was more of the same. Wet, quite rough, but not bad and little mud. Though the sun was finally coming out -- the day was shaping up nicely. The North summit offered limited views. Kinsman Ridge Trail to South Kinsman (and back) was really rough descending into the col but it got really nice and easy after that. Ascending the south summit was a cake walk compared to the rest. I had amazing views and the alpine garden surrounding the cairn area was really nice. Picture perfect day in a great spot. Fishin' Jimmy Trail was wet, steep, and rough, and a bit muddy in places. Seems most of the foot traffic went that way. It was an easy descent, though. I just had to take it slow and watch the wet roots and steps (rocks felt fine, not slippery). There was one section were a stream crossed the trail and the two became one for a bit, complete with small falls; it was noisy and impressive, but all rock-hoppable. I never got significantly wet or muddy all day. As I got closer to Lonesome Lake the trail got muddier, but all the bridges really helped make it easy going, and by this time they were mostly dry and no longer slippery. I found no problematic blowdowns the entire hike.

Special Equipment Required: None, everyone I saw was barebooting it like me, though trekking poles really helped. Ear plugs or music would have nice to drown out the I93 traffic noises most of the way up Lonesome Lake and Hi-Cannon Trails. Semis downshifting is one of the last sounds I want to hear while hiking. Booo.

Comments: Crappy day turned awesome. 'Twas amazing! I just had to laugh out loud at times I was enjoying the day so much. Really great loop, rough trails and tiring for sure, but I really enjoyed myself. Also checked out the shelter at Kinsman Pond -- what a pretty spot. Big wave to trail friends met during the day: Party animals Bob and Josh, the Meetup group survivalists Carl, Lisa, and the others, and of course the mountain-runner/caretaker. Interesting fellow. It was a pleasure to meet you all.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
Nottingham NH

NH Tramper
05-06-2012, 07:43 AM
By the way, there was signage on the ridge and on Lonesome Lake Trail warning that the bridge on the Cascade Brook Trail (between Lonesome Lake and Franconia Notch Parkway) is washed out. The sign advises hikers that the waterway may not be possible during high water and suggests they seek an alternate route. I didn't hike that route but I thought I'd pass along what the sign said.