After I finished the White Mountain 4000 footer list, I started exploring some of the other lists in NH, and came across “52 with a view.” Lynn, Jeff, and I randomly picked Kearsarge North off the list because of its proximity to our houses and ease of access. What we got was one of the best views in the whites*!
Kearsarge North is an easy, short walk-up with major view payoff. It’s also so far south that it’s not even on my White Mountain map. Parking for the trailhead is right off the main drag in North Conway, making for super easy winter access (see summit post for directions).
Although Kearsarge North is an easy hike, there’s still ~2,500 feet of gain in ~3 miles one-way, so it’s still a good workout! The fire tower at the top affords 360 panoramic views that were spectacular on the clear December day we happened to hike it. I’d venture to guess that I would not find the view as impressive in summer, so I’d recommend doing this one in winter! This is also an excellent hike for testing the waters with winter hiking since it’s short, close to civilization, and has a relatively gentle incline. It’s also apparently an unofficial solo-female-with-dog trail, since I think we saw about 5 different women hiking with their dogs that day (I aspire to be them… I just need the dog).
The trail has several relatively flat, large clearings as you hike up, affording you views along the way. This is a great hike to bring non-hiker visitors on, as the constant reward of sneak-peak views will keep them motivated to push to the top.
In conclusion: this is a fun winter hike and you should do it! **
*highly subjective claim
**don’t blame me if you hate it 🙂 🙂 🙂