Another nice day in October means another hike.
#24 Osceola 4,340ft and #34 East Osceola 4,156ft
Trails: Mt. Osceola Trail
Parked off Tripoli road for an out and back hike over the Osceolas. We started on the Mt. Osceola trail. It is 3.2 Miles to the peak of Osceola. The hike was steep in places. Main troubles were when the trail went on the side of the mountain which was also a rock slab. Some more slanted footing on those parts. Luckily the trail wasn’t too wet or we may have had more slipping problems.
Got to the top over all the switchbacks in the path. Osceola’s summit is a great view out towards East Osceola and other peaks we think were the Tripyramids. Good large slab summit which was perfect for snacks. We had gotten up there around 11, so slightly too early for lunch. We went the next mile to East Osceola and decided on lunch on the return. We both ditched our packs on the summit and I just brought my sling bag with water and bandages (just in case).
The trip over to East Osceola was steep in the beginning, and then you get to the chimney. There is a rock chimney that you can choose to go down or a less steep (but still scrambling) side path down the slab of rock. On the way down we both chose the around-a-bout way. The rest of the way over was relatively easy with a short ascent to the summit. East Osceola is wooded with one view point to the right of the trail slightly past the summit cairn.
The way back to Osceola had me go the chimney route. Mum took Deakin up the side scramble since he would not be able to make the jumps up the chimney, although I’m sure he would have tried. The chimney was a fun little scramble and i met up with mum and dog at the top.
Lunch on Osceola was wonderful, slightly crowded with several large groups up top. After a short break we made the descent back to the car. No wildlife views on this hike but great weather and a good view from Osceola summit.
Start of the snowy season!
#21 Hancock 4,420ft and #26 South Hancock 4,319ft
Trails: Hancock Notch Trail -> Hancock Loop trail (counter clockwise)
It was 25 degrees in the mountains with a dusting of snow. Perfect day for a hike. I guess. Luckily no wind made for a good hike with a nice lunch.
The parking is off the Kanc highway at an overlook parking lot. You then head to the end of the lot and cross the road to start on the Hancock Notch Trail. The trail start out relatively flat and is a great warm up.
Good signs will point you to the Hancock Loop Trail about 1.8 miles in, after some river crossings and .7 miles you will come to the split of Cedar Brook Trail and the Hancock Loop. There continues to be multiple river crossings. These would have been fine had it not been 25 degrees. Had to catch Deakin on one of them since he slipped on the ice then didn’t want to try to cross again. I have such a wuss dog.
We chose to go counter clockwise. Pretty arbitrary but worked out well since you can start on South Hancock where there are little/no views then head to Hancock which has a nice overlook spot. The trail up South Hancock was steep at times. The snow was still just a dusting till we got farther up. Maybe 2/3 inches of snow which wasn’t a problem in bare boots.
Sign at South Hancock for the always needed photo op. In the middle of the 1.4 Mile trail to Hancock we found a good rock to have lunch. A little hot chocolate was needed in the chilly weather.
At Hancock we had great views but no knowledge of what we were looking at. Another nice hiker introduced us to a book that has profile views from peaks in NH that will say what you’re looking at (this is now on the shelf at home). Mum also got to meet a very friendly grey jay that took some crackers right from her hand. Those little birds are adorable.
Then it was a .7 mile descent to get back to the trail that you retrace to go back to the parking lot.
Pictures to come.