This past Monday was the first full day of my New Hampshire vacation. I rose bright and early at 5:30AM to hike Mt. Tecumseh. After gathering a few things in my day pack (a Gossamer Gear Minimalist), I made the 1.5-hour drive to Waterville Valley Resort. I parked in parking area #1, since some quick internet research told me that the trail started near the lodge. A half-willed search didn’t uncover the trailhead, so I opted to hike up the ski slopes instead.
Being out in the open on the slopes was nice on such a sunny morning, but I think they were much steeper than the actual trail. According to the map, I’d eventually hit the Sosman Trail if I just kept following the slopes uphill. Since I was in no particular hurry, I turned around every now and again to scope out the view behind me. I could see Tripyramid clear as day, but that wasn’t on my agenda for this trip.
Arriving at the top of the slopes, I looked around for the Sosman Trail. Trails in the Whites are typically marked with signs, but one didn’t appear here. I found what appeared to be a worn footpath and followed it for a few hundred feet. It headed off in the proper direction, so I continued following it. After a half-mile, I found I sign marking the intersection of the Sosman Trail and the Mt. Tecumseh Trail. I followed the Mt. Tecumseh Trail for a short, rocky, 0.3-mile climb to the summit. My first 4000 Footer of the week.
I decided to hike down the Mt. Tecumseh Trail, just so I could see where the trailhead at Waterville Valley was located. About halfway down, I bumped into another hiker. He told me that the trail started near parking area #3… Mystery solved! I popped back out onto the ski slopes so that I could finish my walk in the sun. This hike only took about 2 hours (maybe even a little less), so I had lots of time left in the day. I drove back to my rental house, picked up my girlfriend and her mom, and drove over to Portland, ME for an afternoon of beer and lobstah.