Tripoli Road - Mount Tecumseh Trail - Sosman Trail - Same in reverse
Distance: 6.71 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2153 ft.
Time: 2:21 (base to summit) 2:46 (base to ski area)
Leaving the parking lot into the trees, you quickly come to two small brook crossings. These were both pretty easy with low water. They have a few scattered rocks to hop across and some people have gone a few feet upstream on one of them to cross a dead tree over the brook. The trail turns slightly left and then starts to run near the brook. From here the trail goes steadily uphill and stays almost completly straight with good footing and only a few roots in the trail.
One of two early brook crossings
After approximately 1 mile the trail starts to turn to the right some just before leveling out a little bit. The trail now follows along a small saddle in the mountain range giving you a nice break just before the trail heads back uphill in a little steeper rocky section. For a brief bit in this section the trail follows along the side of the mountain with some larger rocks.
Heading back uphill
After this climb the trail comes up onto a ridge with a side path to the right that leads to a limited view to the West and Mt. Moosilauke. Back on the main trail, it heads along the ridge for a little bit before heading down into the saddle between this ridge and the summit.
Limited view to Mt. Moosilauke
Coming up out of this saddle, the trail gets its steepest and rockiest. With the lack of sun hitting the trail and it being a little humid still this morning, the rocks and roots here were a little slick, but not too bad. You just needed to pay attention to your footing a little more. Coming up to the top of this main climb, looking back out over the trail you do get a pretty good view through the trees back in the direction of Franconia Notch. From here it is a pretty short hike to the summit.
View through the trees near the summit
The view is limited from the summit, but isn't too bad and there are nice places to sit and enjoy it if it isn't too crowded (I hadn't seen anyone yet by the time I got to the summit). After enjoying the summit for a while, I headed down the Sosman Trail to go over to the top of the ski area in order to get more of a view. If you take the Sosman Trail (where the sign says both trails) the trail isn't too steep heading down, but it is quite rocky. If you take the Mount Tecumseh Trail (path back near the route coming up) it isn't as rocky, but it is steeper. The two trails meet back up for a brief bit before the Sosman Trail heads to the right at a signed intersection. The Sosman Trail is quite easy and doesn't go up or down all that much. It comes out at a radio tower and you can follow the path from there a short distance to the top of the ski area Where there is a larger view than the summit.
Limited view from the summit
View over the ski area
Much of the Sosman Trail is like this
After taking in the view here for a bit and putting on a dry shirt and socks, I needed to head back so I could be home in time for some plans for the night. Heading back the trail is pretty easy. There is a limited view point along the Sosman Trail that allows you to see back to the summit of Tecumseh making you think "I have to go back up that much" since it didn't seem like you came down that far.
Looking back to the summit
From about .5 miles up the trail to around 3700 ft there were scattered moose tracks from a moose heading down the trail last night
Clintonia (Bluebead Lily) next to the trail
Bunchberry in bloom higher up on the trail
Small flower back near the trailhead
For all the pictures from the hike, just go HERE