|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Middle Osceola, Mt. Osceola, East Osceola, Split Cliff , NH|
||Bushwhack, herd paths, Mt. Osceola Trail, road walk|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, August 25, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Second car in the Mt Osceola lot between 6:45 and 7am. First car in the Mt Tecumseh lot around 7:15am. Mt Osceola lot had overflowed a bit during the day but not terribly so. It’s a USFS $5 (per day) fee lot. When we returned to the Met Tecumseh trailhead on Tripoli Rd between 4 and 5pm there were just 3 other cars there. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All easy; even crossing the brook in the basin wasn’t too hard ;) |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||One obnoxious but small enough blowdown between main and east peak.\ |
||Saw at least one. Not sure if you’d trust yours bushwhacking but most dogs could handle going to the main peak of Osceola. I’d be careful about bringing one to East peak though with the chimney in between. Not a whole lot of water on the main trail. |
||I didn’t notice any until walking back along Tripoli Rd. Then they were annoying. |
|Lost and Found:
||Took advantage of the road walk and picked up some trash :) ||
||A great day out with the Old Man and the Saw. A huge thanks to him for allowing me to mooch off his excellent navigation skills on this hike. He was even kind and patient enough to show me a few things with my compass :) These were my 12th and 13th 4000 footers this month out of 20 that I need. |
We walked a short ways down (west) Tripoli Rd to a campsite, walked in there, and then started bushwhacking northeast, looking for signs of the old trail. About 0.5mi from the road (as the crow flies), we came across it. We had been a little too far to the right (east), too close to the valley. So, if you can see it to your right, move left. We followed the old trail, now a herd path, but lost it soon enough as we began to finagle our way through some wet stuff as we began to approach the basin. Once we were through the wet stuff, we eventually found our way to what seemed like an old logging road. Not sure if it was the trail or not. We followed that into the basin at the start of the beautiful wetlands which was a treat to see. There are some rocky areas between the road and here that reminded me of the Mt Osceola Trail lol.
Anyway, we took a short break here and then began to cross the wetland, trying not to get our feet too wet, and get back into the woods. The wetland/basin was just above 2400ft. We crossed on the south side of it whereas last time Old Man and the Saw did this he crossed on the north side. No sign of the trail through here. I think he was right to cross on the north side of the wetland before. I think that’s likely the way the trail used to go and we would’ve been close to the true trail had we been over there. From here to just below 3000ft I definitely took us off course. We were south of where the trail was. We headed generally southeast for about 0.1mi upon crossing the wetland getting us to just below 2800ft before then turning just north of east and slabbing/contouring to the other side of the fall line where Larry thought the trail was. We did this for about 1/3mi. This took us to just above 2800ft where we then headed just south of east again (as the old trail did) and soon found some of the old telephone wire again. We weren’t able to follow it too long but Larry kept us on a good course (we headed southeast for about 1/3mi). We soon found an old road which helped some and turned northeast as the trail does. We followed this and slabbed up for about 1/3m before Larry found an open mossy spot that was open for all of about 10yds to which he said “well I guess this is as good a place as any to start going straight up!” 🤣...and that’s what we did. We now aimed right for the col between middle and main Osceola headed barely north of east for about 1/4mi before reaching the ridge. A little over halfway through this we hit wire again and managed to follow it more or less to the ridge :) We found a herd path before the ridge. It was pretty well defined. Not sure how long it looked like that before pestering out but we thought it had to be people trying to get Middle Osceola that went the wrong way and happened to coincide with the old Breadtray Trail.
Took the herd path up to the ridge. Then I grabbed Middle Osceola. 2nd time there. I’ll count my first time toward west peak ;) I noticed as I signed in to the canister that two hikers who I knew of had signed in earlier that day. I ran into them soon after and we walked back to the main trail together. A pleasure to meet you both :) I then headed up to the summit ledges. Nice to chat with folk from the Wednesday group :) Old Man and the Saw and I then travelled about 1/3mi toward East Osceola before jumping into the woods and trying to find Split Cliff. That was hard. We hopped into the woods at a relatively open spot but then things got thick. You have to head up hill some. When we got close to the Cliff bands shown on Gaia we then headed a short ways down a spine and started looking. We pushed through some thick stuff, got a view, saw we weren’t on it but what we should aim for. Got back in the thick, pushed forth, and eventually got there. A very cool view and took a nice break there before heading back to the main trail. The return trip was much smoother ;)
Once back on the main trail I grabbed East peak, coming across the blowdown noted above and then headed back down the regular trail. Some real nasty mud along the ridge.
One obnoxious but small enough blowdown between main and east peak. I believe it was most of the way toward east but I could be wrong. It would be nice if that one got taken care of. Hard to go over or under. I went around as it was clear others have (but no herd path yet) and that wasn’t particularly easy either. The trail isn’t really blazed. Just a couple very faded ones between the two peaks (one I noticed on the bypass of the chimney!) but is very easy to follow and well trodden.
||Liam Cooney |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.