Warner, New Hampshire

Mount Kearsarge, located in Wilmot and Warner, New Hampshire, is a striking natural landmark with historical significance and breathtaking views.

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@emily_cummings603 (Instagram)

About This Location

Mount Kearsarge, located in Wilmot and Warner, New Hampshire, is a striking natural landmark with historical significance and breathtaking views. This mountain, part of Kearsarge Mountain State Forest, offers outdoor enthusiasts a chance to explore its beauty and enjoy its prominence in the region.

At an elevation of 2,920 feet, Mount Kearsarge is not the tallest peak in New Hampshire, but its unique position as a monadnock grants it a remarkable prominence. Monadnocks are isolated mountains that rise abruptly from the surrounding landscape, and Kearsarge stands out with 2,100 feet of relative height above the lower terrain, making it one of the state's 12 mountains with a prominence exceeding 2,000 feet.

Two state parks are situated at the base of Mount Kearsarge: Winslow State Park to the north and Rollins State Park to the south. These parks provide excellent access points for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the mountain.

One of the prominent features of Mount Kearsarge is the Kearsarge South Fire Tower, which has historical significance. Equipped in 1913 by the NH Forestry Commission, this tower has served as an important observation point for monitoring the region. The tower has undergone various repairs and modifications over the years, with the addition of a larger cab in 1953-1954 to accommodate visitors. The station remains in service today and is operated by the NH Forestry Service.

Hiking to the summit of Mount Kearsarge is a popular activity. The quickest route to the top is via the Mount Kearsarge via Rollins and Lincoln Trail, which begins at the upper parking lot at Rollins State Park, located at the end of Kearsarge Mountain Road. This 1-mile loop trail involves an elevation gain of 330 feet and is rated as moderate. Most hikers complete the hike in around 30 minutes to an hour, although many choose to spend more time at the summit enjoying the sweeping panoramic views.

The trail is dog-friendly, but dogs must be kept on a leash to ensure the safety of all hikers. The trailhead offers approximately 50 parking spots, but reaching the parking area involves a steep and winding drive along Kearsarge Mountain Road, so it's essential to drive cautiously.

Rollins State Park charges a day use fee for visitors, with rates varying by age. During the park's operating hours, rangers are available to collect fees. However, during off-hours and the off-season, the park may not be staffed, so visitors should be aware of potential risks associated with outdoor activities and come prepared with the necessary knowledge, skills, and equipment for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Mount Kearsarge is not only a hiking destination but also offers other trails to the summit, including the Mount Kearsarge via Winslow Trail, a more challenging 2-mile out-and-back route.

Interestingly, the name Kearsarge is associated with two mountains in New Hampshire: the one in Warner and another in Chatham. The mountain in Chatham is often referred to as Mount Kearsarge North, while the Warner mountain is commonly known simply as Mount Kearsarge. Both hold significance in their respective regions and offer unique opportunities for outdoor exploration and appreciation of New Hampshire's natural beauty.

Location Features

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Warner, New Hampshire

GPS Coordinates:
43.383410, -71.857030
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
For the quickest hike to Mount Kearsarge's summit, there are about 50 parking spots at the lot at the end of Kearsarge Mount Road. This parking lot is located at the trailheads for the Rollins Trail and Lincoln Trail. Be aware that the drive up to this parking area is about 10 miles from downtown Warner, New Hampshire.


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