Date: July 24, 2013
Distance: 1.37 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Our Hiking Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes round trip
Trail Blaze: White Triangle (Lincoln Trail) & White Rectangle (Rollins Trail)
It was blazing hot this past week. Every time I stepped outside, I lost at least 10 pounds in water weight. Moving even an inch caused a tidal wave of sweat to run off of my body. Not pleasant. This week the temperature dropped into the 60’s, so our friend Meg and I decided to take Addison on a hike while we let a very pregnant Kendra rest for the day.
We chose Mt. Kearsarge for a few reasons – it’s relatively close to us (1.5 hour drive), the summit provides incredible views, and tackling it from the trailhead via the Rollins State Park picnic area means a short half-mile hike to the summit – perfect for Addie!
While we waited in the parking lot for some grey clouds to clear, Meg and I debated which trail to follow up to the summit. We settled on the Lincoln trail, for which our trusty map stated pointed out a “rough and steep” section. According to the map, it appeared that just a small portion would be steep, so we figured it would be better to go up that section, rather than down. Once we got going, we quickly realized the vast majority of the trek up the Lincoln Trail is over steep boulders. Undeterred, we pushed forward. Addie climbed the entire .4 of a mile herself. I taught her how to find good foot and hand holds on the larger boulders, and she quickly scrambled up the rocks.
We were the only ones on the trail – though given the terrain, that’s really no surprise. The rocks were lined with wild blueberry bushes, so when we were tired we took breaks to pick and eat blueberries.
By the time we reached the summit, the wind had picked up considerably. We took a few quick pictures, admired the incredible 360 degree view, and then found refuge at a small picnic area just below the summit – a perfect place to eat lunch!
We spent quite a while snacking, then headed back via the much easier Rollins Trail. About halfway down, we came across a small pond and decided to stop and look for frogs. After I found one, I quickly spotted three more! We seemed to be surrounded by frogs sunning themselves and lazily swimming in the water. Addie was delighted.
Though decidedly less steep than the Lincoln Trail, the Rollins Trail was much wetter. Water streamed across the trail in many places, and the sound of rushing water filled the air. We even saw a few small waterfalls.
This was Addie’s first hike up a mountain with absolutely no time in a carrier – she took every step with her own two legs! She was so proud of herself and kept telling us, “I strong!” And she was!
Rollins State Park Quick Facts
Season: Mid-May through Mid-October (open weekends only the rest of the year)
Hours: Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 4:30pm, Saturday & Sunday from 9am – 4:30pm.
Admission: $4 for adults; $2 for children ages 6-11; children ages 5 and under and NH residents age 65 and over are admitted free.
There is an outhouse at the picnic area, as well as two on the auto road on the way from the toll booth to the parking area.
Directions to the Trailhead:
Rollins State Park is located off Route 103 in Warner, New Hampshire. After paying admission fees at the toll booth at the park’s entrance, you need to drive another 3.5 miles on the auto road to the Rollins State Park picnic area, where the trailhead is located.
I-89N: Take exit 8 toward NH-103/Warner. Turn left onto Schoodac Rd, then in .3 miles, turn right onto NH-103 W/E Main St. In 1.3 miles, turn right onto Kearsarge Mountain Rd. The entrance to the park at the end of the road in 5 miles.
I-89S: Take exit 9 for NH 103 toward Warner/Bedford. Turn left onto NH-103 E. In 1 mile, turn left onto Roslyn Ave, then take a slight right onto Geneva St. In .2 mile, turn left onto Kearsarge Mountain Rd. The entrance to the park at the end of the road in 5 miles.