8/8/15 Today we attempted the second of the NH 4000 footers. Just as it was for Moosilauke, Tami, Shaun, Roger, and I were the ones hiking. We chose Cannon because the hike was shorter, the trail was right off the highway, and we needed to be back in town by about 5:00. We took the Kinsman Ridge trail from the tramway parking lot. The trail started off gently, but soon became sandy, gravely, rocky, rooty, and steep. Sometimes several of those at the same time. One part was a big smooth rock face at a pretty steep angle that was difficult to maneuver up. Shaun, the fastest hiker of all of us, hadn’t eaten enough and was dragging in the back. With some persuasion, he stopped to eat some snacks and was then able to pick back up and leave me behind once again. The brief spur to the overlook made for a beautiful view and rest before continuing the rest of the way up the trail. We made it up to the trail with all the tram riders and walked up the viewing platform. I was surprised to find one of my co-workers there who had hiked up a different trail. After braving the crowds on top, we went a little bit down the path to stop for lunch, followed by a brief visit to the ski lodge for use of the bathroom facilities. Then we started back down.
This was definitely a trail that is difficult on the way down due to the steepness and damp along the way. We saw several groups hiking up who seemed under prepared and unaware of the treacherousness ahead of them. We also saw some people who though it would be nice to “walk” down after they had ridden the tram up. They were quick to comment that they thought it would be an easier walk than it was. They weren’t sure it had been such a great choice after all. The family of two teenagers and a dad that we saw halfway up with only sneakers and no water bottles were definitely concerning. Hopefully they decided to take the tram back down, assuming they made it all the way up. Despite the trail being only 2 miles each way, it still took almost 3 hours to get back to the car. By then we were tired, satisfied, and ready to head back home.