1066 Kearsarge Mountain Rd. (Off Route 103,) Warner
Picnic tables, scenic auto road, fire tower
Day Use Fee:
$4 for adults; $2 for children ages 6-11; children ages 5 and under and NH residents
age 65 and over are admitted free. Pets Permitted.
Operation Schedule: The park is open May 17 through October 19, weather permitting. Gate hours for the summer are 9am - 4pm: Last car up the auto road at 4pm.
Over 5,000 acres including state forest.
of Campsites: None.
More Information: Day-Use
Located in the town of Warner, Rollins State Park is situated on the
south slope of Mt. Kearsarge. A 3 1/2 mile long scenic auto road rises
from the park entrance through woodlands to the parking and picnic areas just below the summit.
The picnic area, located in a natural wooded glen beneath granite ledges,
is historically referred to as the "Garden". It affords views
that stretch from Mt. Monadnock to the hills of New Hampshire's coastal
plain. The summits of Pack Monadnock, Crotched and Uncanoonuc mountains,
the hills of central Massachusetts and the Boston skyline are visible
on the horizon, while the Mink Hills and Merrimack River Valley can
be seen nearby. Two trails to the summit of Mt. Kearsarge are offered,
one moderate and one for more advanced hikers. (Patrons with handicaps may also
wish to consider Miller
State Park offering an auto road to the absolute summit.)
the New Hampshire legislature granted local businessmen a charter to
build a toll road from Warner Village to the summit of Mt. Kearsarge.
The Warner & Kearsarge Road Company was created and construction
of the road began in 1873, with the support of the townspeople. The
road traversed Mission Ridge to the Garden and continued to within "eight
rods" of the summit. The road was poorly maintained and was impassable
by the early 1900s. The Troy Hill Women's Club raised funds to repair
the road in the 1920s. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established
a camp in Warner in 1935 to finish rebuilding the road to the Garden,
and from there, the trail to the summit.
for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) purchased land on
the mountain including the Garden in 1918. The 521-acre reservation
was called Rollins Memorial Park in honor of Governor Frank W. Rollins,
a founder of SPNHF. A small log shelter built near the Garden helped
make the area popular with hikers. The property was transferred to the
state for the establishment of a state park in 1950.
in Warner and Wilmot, New Hampshire, 2,937-foot Mt. Kearsarge, one
of the oldest mountains in the state, is the home of both Winslow and
Rollins state parks. Because of its easy accessibility from the parks
and outstanding summit vistas, Mt. Kearsarge is a popular family hiking
destination. Views include nearby Sunapee, Ragged and Cardigan mountains
and more distant Mt. Monadnock and Ascutney. On very clear days views
extend to the White Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Atlantic
Ocean and Boston.
granite summit is a good place to see evidence of past glacial activity.
During the glacial period more than 25,000 years ago, a great ice sheet
more than a mile thick moved over Kearsarge and much of New Hampshire.
Glacial striations, grooves cut in rock by the movement of glacial ice,
can be seen on the summit, as well as on ledge outcroppings in the Winslow
picnic area. In addition, large boulders called glacial erratics, can
be seen from the trails. The mass of ice was powerful enough to move
the boulders which were left behind when the ice sheet retreated. The
bare summit is the result of a 1796 forest fire which burned the vegetation
and exposed the soil to wind and water erosion.
Endicott of the Massachussetts Bay Colony made an exploration of the
New Hampshire wilderness to find the source of the Merrimack River in
1652. Members of the expedition are believed to be the first Europeans
to see Mt. Kearsarge. It is shown as "Carasarga" on the map
they produced, believed to be a name derived from a Native American
word meaning "notch-pointed-mountain of pines. The evolution of
the mountain's name has included "Kyasarge" in the 1749 charter
for Perrystown (now Sutton), "Chi a Sarge" in a 1755 Perrytown's
proprietors meeting, and "Kyar Sarga" on a 1774 map. "Kearsarge"
appeared on an 1816 map of Merrimack County.
This information was posted June 1, 2014. All information, services and fees are
subject to change.