Hike New Hampshire: Kearsarge Mountain
We initially planned on hiking 20+ miles this day, but after not feeling 100%, both Erik and I decided we would check out this gem of a mountain; Kearsarge.
As we drove the steep climb to the gate, memories flooded in to the last time we drove here– over a year ago, by accident. You see, on our way home (NY being home at the time) from Maine we were looking for a place to stay over-night and I, in an excited daze mistook Kearsarge Mountain for Kearsarge North (the tower you can stay in). We decided that with what little daylight we had left, we would forgo climbing the mountain and instead find a place to stay (thanks Moosilauke TH parking lot).
The parking area for Kearsarge was where Erik and I shared a dish– let’s be real, it was an 8 serving dish of butternut squash mac n’ cheese (totally vegan, of course!), and we totally earned every bite! We also shared our desires to live in New Hampshire. There was something so special about this area, and it drew us both in. We made a goal, right then and there to find a way to live in New Hampshire.
Less than two months later, we were New Hampshire residents and happier than ever to be among the White Mountains.
Finally, after a year of living here we made it back to Kearsarge and loved every bit.
With the gate closed for winter, we parked and strolled up the unmaintained road which was hard-packed snow from the many snowmobile users who frequented the area.
The weather was mild, the boys got all of their poops out by the car and we were on our way. The only mistake I made was not bringing my butt sled!
We decided to take the 1.1 mile Winslow Trail up to the summit and it was a beautiful trail with over 1,100′ of elevation gain. There were sections of steepness, groves of short-little pine trees and frozen waterfalls– a bit of everything– beautiful.
We made it to a small overlook, and that’s when the boys and I took the lead as Erik took pictures; of us, of the views.
The summit was a happening place– between the tower, wooden benches and picnic tables..you quite literally had the chance to experience it all.
After a “No Dogs” sign was spotted on the tower, the boys and I made our way to the Barlow Trail for our descent. The cold wind was certainly a match for my poorly circulating legs.
Now came the real fun! We were greeted with more views on this side of the mountain, but my favorite fun part was when we entered the forest to trail run!
Erik and I got into trail running last year and I miss it terribly, so it was a blast being able to skirt right along down the trail– the boys seemed pretty excited about it as well!
1.7 miles to the upper parking lot seemed to happen in a breeze, passing only a few friendly faces along the way.
We took in all of the surrounding beauty, then made our final descent back down the unmaintained road. We spotted the Subaru, along with many other cars (to our surprise, as we saw very little people!).
Off came the spikes, and many treats entered our mouths.
It was a good day to be outside.
Bring Your Butt Sleds
If you are Pro Butt Sliding, then bring yours! You will have the most fun! Luckily we ran down the mountain to take my mind off forgetting mine, but it would have been prime conditions to slide in for sure!
There were even a few guys who were carrying their skis, hiking up to the summit and then skiing down. All I can say to that is “How freaking cool!”– I cannot wait try this someday!
For now, my butt will do!
Even the Smallest Miles Bring the Biggest Smiles
Not every climb has to be the biggest, or the baddest. In fact, this hike was exactly what I needed; small, beautiful and reminiscent.
Nature has a beautiful way of reminding me to be present, to never rush to the next endeavor and to always enjoy the little things that can often be overlooked (like how snow can instantly turn you into a kid again, just like that).
I hope you too, can enjoy the small things in life– they can often add up to be the biggest things.
Happy Tails on the Trails,
Ciara, Boone & Crockett