Mount Kearsarge (2,937ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,100ft
Trails: Barlow Trail
Distance: 3.6 miles roundtrip
Duration: 2 hrs/50 mins (includes stops for breaks along
the trail and at summit)
NH 52 With A View
I wanted to do another solo hike but this time an easy
one especially since I had never hiked on a weekday. I packed the usually
emergency shelter, extra layers, survival kit , first aid kit, water, food, camera
and batteries. I left my itinerary with my family also including where I would
be parked with directions to the trailhead. I've taken to doing this so that my
family can get my pickup truck in the event that I'm unable to drive home.
At trailhead of the Winslow State Park. I was the only
one in the parking lot, but was okay with that, it was Monday after all. But
right before I set off, a car pulled up and a woman and her dog headed up to
the Winslow Trail. I originally planned to take the Winslow Trail up and then
the Barlow Trail on my descent, but changed my mind. I wanted a short hike, and
an easy one as well. So I took the Barlow Trail. I had been exercising on the Elliptical
at my gym and could go an hour at a time with no breaks. So I set to hike
Barlow with just a couple of short breaks. I was able to keep an even pace and
enjoyed the solitude and quietness of the forest.
Although the footing on the Barlow is much easier than
the Winslow, I was glad I wore my Microspikes as the ground was covered in fall
leaves making many spots in the trail slippery. There were also many spots of
the trail that were frozen.
With less than 150 feet of elevation left to the summit,
I met up with the woman and her dog who were making their way down from the
summit. She told me that the views were fantastic and that I had the summit all
to myself. She was right. The trail near the summit is composed mostly of flat
rock and it opened to the side of the summit with the cellphone tower and
utility sheds. I was all alone and I had the summit all to myself for the 45
minutes I was there!
The tower was closed but I was able to take photos from
the platform right beneath the tower room. Instead of using the picnic tables, I found a spot in the
middle of the summit and quickly ate my sandwich. The solitude was wonderful!
There was a slight breeze and I sat admiring the north and northwest views. I spent
my last few minutes at the summit meditating in the solitude.
Along the Barlow Trail (3)
At the summit (4)