Off Route 11, Wilmot
Picnic tables, 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.
The park is open weekends only starting Memorial Day weekend (May 23 - 26),
then full-time, 9:00am - 5:00pm, from June 21 through late October 2008,
weather permitting. Gates remain open throughout the season.
Part of Kearsarge Mountain State Forest, 4,965 acres
of Campsites: None
State Park is located on the northwest slope of Mt. Kearsarge in Wilmot,
New Hampshire. The picnic area is on an 1,820-foot plateau with outstanding
views of the White Mountains to the north and the taller of the southern
and central Vermont peaks. Mt. Sunapee, Ragged Mountain and Pleasant
Lake dominate the closer landscape. A one-mile foot trail leads from
the picnic area to the summit of Mt.Kearsarge. Also a 1 3/4 mile trailer
offers a loop possibility.
Winslow State Park is named for a nineteenth century hotel, the Winslow
House. The hotel was located in what is now the park's picnic area.
A cellar hole is all that remains of the hotel that was named in honor
of Admiral John Winslow who was commander of the USS Kearsarge during
the Civil War. The Kearsarge was built in Portsmouth and constructed
of lumber milled from trees cut on Mt. Kearsarge. The USS Kearsarge
sank the confederate ship Alabama in a decisive battle off the French
coast. The victory helped to keep European countries from entering the
war on the side of the confederates. Admiral Winslow became a national
hero and the USS Kearsarge was known throughout the country. The hotel
burned once and was rebuilt. By the end of the century it proved unprofitable,
was abandoned and burned to the ground. In 1933 William B. Douglas gave
twenty acres, including the cellar hole, to the state as a memorial
to the actress Katherine Raynor. The property abutted lands already
in state ownership. The site became a state park in 1935.
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 chaRouter
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 24, 2008 and all information, services and fees are
subject to change.