Trip Date: 6/9/2019
Mt. Tecumseh is one of the shorter hikes on the NH48 list and it makes for a nice morning, afternoon, or sunset hike. The summit offers easterly views looking out at Mt. Osceola, the Tripyramids, and on a clear day, Mt. Washington. There are two ways to access the summit. One via Tripoli Rd and from the base of the Waterville Valley Ski Resort on the Mt. Tecumseh Trail. Beginning at the ski resort is shorter, yet the more challenging route at just 2.5 miles to the summit with 2,200 feet of elevation gain and takes approximately 2-4 hours to complete depending on ability level.
The Mt. Tecumseh Trail is the more popular option and begins at the base of the Waterville Valley ski resort on the north side. To access the trail head, park in lot one and you will see the start of the trail off to your right on the opposite side of the access road (facing the Base Lodge).
The first half mile of the hike is a gradual ascent along the southern side of Tecumseh Brook with two river crossings. The first crossing comes about 15 minutes into the hike. Look for a yellow arrow guiding you to turn right and then cross the river. You will then continue along the north side of the brook, before descending into a ravine and crossing the second river. The water levels are surprisingly low after the rainy spring and can be crossed with ease.
After you cross the river, the climb becomes more rocky and steep. The trail is a little muddy and the rocks are slick in spots from the rain, but it dries out quickly. At about 1.5 miles in there will be a view point on your left leading you down to one of the ski trails known as The Boneyard where you can stop for a breather or a snack.
The trail then turns to the right as you begin the rocky and steepest portion of the hike, and hopefully you’re a fan of stairs. Most of the elevation gain takes place over the course of .7 miles on a diagonal slope. Much of the trail is a nice set of rocky steps, so the footwork isn’t too tricky but you’ll definitely feel the burn in your quads.
Eventually, the trail will plateau at the ridgeline where the Sosman trail meets up with the Mt. Tecumseh Trail. The Sosman trail leads down to the summit of the ski resort for those that are feeling extra ambitious. Otherwise, continue on up to the summit with about a half mile to go. Shortly after the trail will take a hard left, and after a quick scramble over some rocks the summit will reveal itself offering some incredible views.
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