Osceola, Another Carpool Challenge, 10.18.11

For probably the last time this season, I headed up to Tripoli Road and to the Mt. Osceola trailhead for a quick hike up to Osceola.  The weather will soon change and some time during November, Tripoli Road will be closed until Spring.   I hiked Osceola and East Osceola from this same trailhead this summer with my son, but today was just a solo hike with not quite enough time to hike over to E. Osceola and have the chance to get home, cleaned up and not smell like a moose when I picked up my own children and two others.

The ride down Tripoli Road was certainly late fall in view.  I was the only one at the trailhead when I arrived and the woods were quiet as I started up the trail.  There were plenty of leaves on the trail and forest seemed to be in the process of quieting down for a long winter nap.

Quiet, fall forest.

Fall color surrounding the rocks on the lower portion of the Mt. Osceola Trail.

Although the Mt. Osceola trail is rocky in the first portion, the grade is moderate and consistent, leading eventually to better footing in the switchback section.  With only a little over 2,000 foot in elevation gain in a little over three miles to the summit, it is not a knee busting hike on either the ascent or descent.

As I ascended, I noticed that this hike was not nearly as steep as some of the others I’ve hiked recently and really enjoyed just cruising along.  Soon enough, I came to the summit and explored a few little herd paths, once of which led to a nice outlook that looked out west and north where I could see portions of I-93 in the valley.

View to the west and north, with sunshine out in the valley.

The weather was colder and winder at the top, and it was one of those days where you’re right in between a big grey cloud above you and the sunshine-filled valleys below you.  The sun was just breaking through the clouds over Waterville Valley and I could see beams of sunlight streaming down into the valley from above.

Sunbeams breaking through to Waterville Valley.

Osceola reference mark; this one is over near the tree line closer to where the trail heads to East Osceola.

The Osceola benchmark; this is near the edge of the ledges, near where the trail leaves for East Osceola.

After a quick snack and some photos, I was ready to descend.  I met 5 or 6 people along my descent,  and enjoyed the dramatic change from the mostly coniferous higher elevations, down through to the mixed forest, with plenty of late fall color on the trees and on the trail.  It was a great day to be out and enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons, and yes, I was able to pick up the children on time!

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4 thoughts on “Osceola, Another Carpool Challenge, 10.18.11

  1. Good thinking to get in another hike to Osceola from Tripoli Road before it closes for the winter. And yes, as you stated, I’ve also noticed just in the past few days that the forest does indeed seem to be in the process of quieting down for a long winter nap!

    John

  2. Great trip report! You have me itching to hike Osceola again! I’m not a huge fan of the trail, but I do love the summit! Also, I missed the benchmark when I was up there and had no idea there was a reference mark too! I gotta get up there to hike it one more time. Maybe I’ll take a day off from work soon to do so.

    Your pictures with the sunbeams are great!

    Thanks,
    Karl

  3. Thanks John and Karl!

    Karl: I didn’t realize there was a reference mark, too, but I did know about the benchmark, so it was neat to find it. I don’t mind the trail from Tripoli Rd., it is more mellow than going from the Kanc side!;)

  4. talk about coincidence…..I’m working backwarsds checking out your reports and we did 3 of the same hikes on the same day. Keep up the good work!

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