The Cannonballs are three distinct humps on the ridge between North Kinsman and Cannon Mountain. The Northeast Cannonball is the highest point on the ridge and is listed as #100 on the New England Hundred Highest List. The views are limited, but you do get a unique perspective on Cannon from the open areas near the summit. The Cannonballs are distinctly visible features, particularly from Lonesome Lake.
Approaching the summit
The most direct route to the Northeast Cannonball is to take the Lonesome Lake Trail from Lafayette Campground in Franconia Notch. It is about 1.2 miles to Lonesome Lake and 1.1 miles farther to the Kinsman Ridge Trail. Go left
The wooded summit of NE Cannonball
at the trail junction and climb steeply for .2 miles until you reach the unmarked summit. Total distance one way is 2.5 miles with about 2000 feet of vertical gain. You can make a nice loop by hiking south about 2.4 miles to the Fishin' Jimmy Trail (AT) and taking that back to Lonesome Lake Hut. Total distance of this loop is about 8 miles. You can tack on Cannon Mountain and North and South Kinsman to make a full day out of it.
There are two hike in options for camping in the vicinity of the Cannonballs.
Tent platforms and a lean-to are available at Kinsman Pond Campsite, 2.5 miles south on the Kinsman Ridge Trail. There is a fee during the summer season when a caretaker is present.
The AMC runs Lonesome Lake Hut at an elevation of 2760 feet about halfway up the Lonesome Lake Trail. Rustic accomodations and prepared food are available, at a price. The cost in 2006 is $87 per person per night for non AMC members. $96 on Saturday nights. There is a 10% discount if you are a member.
Lonesome Lake Hut
Lafayette Place is a drive in campground located in Franconia Notch State Park. Running water, flush toilets, and pay showers are available and there is a small campstore selling food, maps and firewood. The cost per site per night in 2009 is $25. Check the park website for reservations and information.