Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hazy Hike to Kearsarge North


After reading the trail reports it appears there is still a lot of snow on many trails in the White Mountains that require either microspikes or snowshoes and some needing both. I was looking for a snow-free trail and decided on Mount Kearsarge North. With more Spring chores to do around the house I also wanted a short hike but something with some decent views from the summit. The tower on Mount Kearsarge as a great vantage point for views.


At the trailhead

Hobblebush blooming


Low clouds over the valley

There was a great sunrise as I started my drive. Down in North Conway it was very hazy and cloudy, seems the views were going to be questionable as I got closer to the trailhead. It was quite cool as I started my hike and could have probably worn some thin gloves but just stuck my hands in my pockets. The most recent trail report indicated a need for microspikes on this trail so I brought them just in case there was some left over patches of ice.

Summit tower


As I got to the beginning of the ledge climb I could see that views were going to be somewhat obscured today. It was very hazy with lots of low clouds. The hike itself was vey enjoyable and the trail was dry. Past the ledges I saw my first patches of ice that were very easy to hike around. The one minor problem area was a dip in the trail that crosses a brook that had snow and ice requiring a little extra caution to prevent a slip.

Cranmore ski area

White Horse Ledge and Cathedral Ledge


I had met only two hikers coming down and they had stayed in the tower overnight. So coming up onto the summit I had the place to myself. I went up into the tower and took a nice break. This was not a day for great views but I took some photos and a few videos to capture the haze and low clouds. I was soon on my way back down.

Taking a break in the tower

A pond far below the summit

Mount Washington

Mount Washington through the haze in the distance

Back down on the ledges it was time for a short sleeve shirt and shorts so I made the change. There were many hikers on their way up. I met a couple that asked me if I had gotten the "bear warning", I said no. Shortly after starting their hike they saw a bear watching them from the side of the trail, it then ran across the trail. I thanked them for the warning and said I would have my camera ready! I also met Ken MacGray and his hiking partner. Ken is the administrator of the NH 52 With a View Facebook page of which I am a member.

Remaining ice on the trail

South Moat hike last weekend

Some clearing on the way back down

I never did see the bear and it was a pleasantly uneventful trip back down to the parking area. This is one of my favorite short hikes in the White Mountains. It's a great trail to the summit and the views are spectacular. The tower is also a nice place to take a break on a cold, windy day of which I have experienced on previous hikes to this summit. I have no doubt that I will be returning to Mount Kearsarge North again! 

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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