Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cannon Mountain Hike

It was another morning of driving to the trailhead in heavy fog. Today's hike was to summit Cannon Mountain(4,100 ft.), another 4,000 footer to add to our list. As I drove up and out of the valleys we left the fog behind. The plan was to hike the Lonesome Lake Trail to the Hi-Cannon Trail on to the Kinsman Ridge Trail that leads to the summit.

The sky was clear blue and the air was cool and dry, almost a touch of Fall. Our trailhead destination was by the Lafayette Campground in Franconia Notch. We found a parking space and were soon on our way up the Lonesome Lake trail. It didn't take long to reach the Hi-Cannon trail junction. We veered off to the right and were on our way up.

And up we went, but nothing too extreme until we got to a set of wooden ladders. My little hiking buddy was somewhat subdued when he saw those. We strapped the trekking poles to our packs and were on our way up. He did a great job conquering that "obstacle". Those ladders proved to be a great confidence booster!

It was shortly after this that we caught our first glimpse of Lonesome Lake from high on top of a cliff. A few photos of this fantastic view and we moved on. There were plenty of boulders and ledges to scramble over but nothing compared to what we would encounter later on our descent.

We arrived at the Kinsman Ridge Trail junction and took a short break. It was 0.4 mi. to the summit and we were soon on our way. This was a very nice part of the trail and we soon reached the Rim Trail just below the summit. There were many tourists taking advantage of this beautiful Labor Day that had taken the tram to the top of Cannon and were walking and taking in the views. We did the same and took several photos along this trail that looked out over Franconia Notch.

The trail led to the tram building and we set out on the deck taking in the sunshine and cool breeze. After a snack and more photos we made our way to the summit observation tower. We stayed on top of the tower for a couple of minutes and a couple of photos then it was time to head back down the trail.

It wasn't long before the tourists started fading away and only the occassional hikers remained. We reached the Hi-Cannon trail junction and continued down the Kinsman Ridge trail. This is one boulder-strewn piece of trail and it gets right down to the business of going down! It wasn't far after this to the junction of Lonesome Lake trail that turned to the left.

As we approached Lonesome Lake we were walking on a long bog bridge that followed the north side of the lake. There was a lot of work that went into that and it was much appreciated. After reaching the end of the bog bridge there was a group of hikers that were apparently lost and not sure if they were going in the right direction. I broke out my map and found that they wanted to return to the parking area by the Lafayette Campground. They set out in the right direction but that would not be the last of seeing them.

It was time for one last break and we found a nice spot by the lake. Clouds were rolling in, it was cool and relaxing. Not so quiet as there were many people around with a large group across the water at the Lonesome Lake hut. As we sat there a red squirrel and chipmunk perched beside us looking for a handout. After a snack it was time to make our last 1.2 mile descent to the parking lot. On the way down we passed the group of hikers that were earlier going in the wrong direction.

We reached the trailhead and made our way to the truck. Once again the same group of hikers walked by, still lost, and wanted to know where the tramway parking lot was located. That is where they were apparently parked. I pointed north and suggested using the bike trail that we were standing beside and tactfully recommended maybe bringing a map along next time. A young lady in the group whispered,"we had a misguided tour guide", and off they went.

This was another very enjoyable hike with fantastic views and #7 on our quest to hike the 48 4,000 footers!

Having fun in the great outdoors!

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