Exit And Explore: Lace Up Your Boots At Mt Kearsarge Off I-89 NH
Your boots are itching for action, as are you. Way too much interstate driving for the day. Time to get vigorous, stretch those legs, get some ruddy cheeks. I-89 is where you are, mid-way between Concord NH and the Connecticut River. See that mountain? It’s Mt Kearsarge in all its splendor. That’s where you’re headed.
It looks like the one up top?
You guessed it. This is a great little fall hike. Perfect for fit beginners, too. This might even be your very first mountain top adventure.
And, if you’re not quite up to it, there’s fresh air, a picnic spot, and even an old carriage road suitable for driving.
Where’s the Mt Kearsarge trailhead?
The genius of Mt Kearsarge is that you have 4 options for heading upwards and back to your car, depending how much time you have and the wherewithal of your feet. There are 2 trailheads, both at picnic areas, just a handful of miles from interstate exits.
1. Rollins State Park approach (Exit 8). You could drive part way on a scenic road inside Rollins State Park. Then walk half a mile up an old carriage road (translation: well-graded), and you’ll be on top.
2. Winslow State Park approach (Exit 10). From the other side of the Kearsarge—at Winslow State Park—you can follow the Barlow Trail (longer but easier) or the Winslow Trail (shorter but more rugged) or make a loop there and back.
It costs an adult $4 to enter either park (as of the date of this post).
Generally speaking, 2 maps are involved when it comes to hiking, the one that gets you to the trailhead (aka Google) and the one that tells you how the trail lies. The Google part is up to you. Trail map? Heck, that’s what the mini-map on the right is for. Click and you’ll find the State of New Hampshire’s official map sketch.
Those would be under that self-same mini map: everything you need to know about directions, lengths, and levels of difficulty.
Take with you…
A quickie hike up Mt Kearsarge and back to interstate drudgery. But now you’re driving with that self-satisfied feeling all over.
Photo credits. Featured image and top, Kearsarge in fall: CC BY 3.0 by Tommorgan555 via Wikimedia. Trail sign at Winslow State Park, Complete loop is 2.7 miles: CC BY 2.0 by rickpilot 2000 via Flickr. MTrail map: screen shot. Summit, Many people on this nice day: CC BY 2.0 by rickpilot 2000 via Flickr. Vermont in fall: CC BY-ND by Giggs Huang.