The Kinsman Ridge runs along the west side of Franconia Notch all the way from Kinsman Notch in the south, over Mt Wolf, South Kinsman, North Kinsman, the Cannon Balls, and Cannon before dropping down. The summits along the ridge offer some views, but the elevation leaves you mostly in the trees. This area is fairly rough terrain, much harder than the map would indicate. The summit is in the trees, but just a few feet away are two very nice ledges that have great views of Franconia Ridge.The most popular route leaves from Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia Notch taking the Lonesome Lake trail up to the lake, then following around the lake clockwise on the Cascade Brook trail to Lonesome Lake Hut. From there, take the Fishin' Jimmy trail to Kinsman Junction and the Kinsman Pond Shelter, then climb the Kinsman Ridge trail to the summit. This route is 8.2 miles round trip. From the less populated west side of the mountain, the North Kinsman trail goes to the ridge from NH Rt 116, passing spur trails to Kinsman Flume and Bald Peak, both fine diversions. Then turn south on the Kinsman Ridge trail to the summit. This route is also 8.2 miles. just below the summit. The Kinsman Ridge trail is part of the Appalachian Trail for its entire length.
The mountain range was named after Nathan Kinsman, who settled in Easton after moving his family north from Massachusetts.