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The first 3.5 miles are very friendly, and then you are faced with a decision: ascend North or South Hancock? We chose to ascend South and go down North. The steeps were very slick as butt-sledding activity was at an all-time high. We wore microspikes for the whole hike except for the descent down the North peak--we wore snowshoes. All in all, a great winter hike! 9.1 miles in 8 hours...lots of stopping. From the trailhead to the loop split took us ~2 hours, and same on the return. So trail-math-wise, we spent just as much time doing the summit loop as we did on Hancock Notch Trail/Cedar Brook Trail.

loved this. don't let your brain trick you into thinking you're almost there. just enjoy the path. after the lake it narrows into the forest before going up Kinsman. there are a couple places going up I would highly recommend turning around and taking in the view. on South kinsman there are two summit looking places. this was a challenging but fun hike. the dogs managed to navigate around the really steep parts both up and down. cramp on for sure but didn't use snow shoes. removed crampons once near the top cause it was so packed down. fun day hike! if you have time check out the kinsman pond while you're up there. it took me 6.5 hours with 40 minutes at the top and alot of "I think my lungs collapsed" breaks up. but so good

24 days ago

second time hiking the greely pond trail to East Osceola Summit on a day in February it was 55 ° on the summit! we got a late start (started at 11 am) with it being so warm the river was really high, lots of ice covered in slushy snow. mono rail was this and slushy so.we stuck with micro spikes and trecking poles we're life savers. we started to head over to Mount Osceola but opted to turn around after a few hundred yards of us and the dogs post holing, we didn't post hole at all up to that point - plus rain was coming in. by the time we got back down to the river crossing it had doubled in size making it impossible to cross without getting our boots soaked. we hike very often and this trip took us 6 hours with maybe a total stops of 1 hour (had to make some jet boil coffee at the summit!) fun hike with great views but with the warmer weather approaching be prepared!

27 days ago

Hiked this one in December during the beginnings of a storm. Majority of the trail was unpacked snow roughly 10-12 inches in depth. Even with spikes the descent was tough, limited reward at the summit due to visibility. Great workout and a good story to tell nonetheless.

Perfect for your first winter 4k. Views from Starr King are AMAZING and will give you the courage you need (or maybe, don't need) to continue on the ridge to Waumbek. Take care when parking your car in the winter though, there's a large lot on Rt. 2 just across from the turn for Starr King Road where you can park! Someone got their car stuck on Starr King Rd. when we were hiking. A great place to see the grey jays, btw.

Strenuous but beautiful hike. Did it on Feb 11, 2018, trails were well packed but relatively warm day and needed showshoes for entire hike, everyone else I saw on the mountain had the same. Word of caution, pulling out in the dark from the Lafayette campground area I accidentally went straight into an unplowed side lot that is restricted to snowmobiles. Called AAA who sent a truck and charged $300 to pull me out since it was technically a snowmobile trail rather than a lot. Driver said he pulls 20 people out a weekend, nice little cash cow for the local tow service. Went back afterward and small posted signs say "No Highway Vehicles Allowed", $300 later I now know what that phrase means....

1 month ago

Awesome hike!! Would hike again for sure

1 month ago

Damn, but that last mile was a killer.

This was my very first hike ever, and I didn't quite expect a 30°-45° ascent to get to the summit. But I did it, so I guess that makes me a hiker now.

It was beautiful, though, what with meandering streams and everything covered in snow. The weather was perfect, sunny and in the low 20s. Spikes are essential.

on Hancock Loop Trail

1 month ago

Incredible summer hike. We got off trail, but bumped into a kind fellow biker and his dog who got us back on track again. Spent 2 wonderful days on the mountain.

Well broken and marked trail. Beautiful in the winter with moderate inclines and stretches of flat terrain

on Mount Osceola Trail

1 month ago

A long and beautiful trail. Much of the start is flat, but then the other half is full of switchbacks and steep climbs. The summit offers exceptional views of the presidentials, but it’s a bit tricky to navigate. Very few flat areas and the the routes to the top above the tree line aren’t clear, but doable. .

This shows up under Oregon hikes even tho it’s not in Oregon.

Gorgeous in the winter

trails were packed untill we were .2 miles from the kinsman campsite.
made the nKinsman north summit in knee to neck deep snow...
views on lafayette and franconia ridge + cannon are amazing on the way down from north kinsman

The gate was still closed because of earlier storm damage to get up to the trailhead so we had to walk the 1.3 miles from the road to the trailhead. Once we got to the trail it was beautiful, but a little too cold to make it to the summit today. We’ll definitely be back!

Great hike last Friday in snow storm with some friends. Micro-spikes were needed, didn't put on snowshoes, snow was light and wispy. Stay on packed trail, deep and hidden holes if you step off trail in spots, mostly on hidden bridges. Hut was open, not heated. Great Day.....

If you like rivers this is a nice trail.

Traction needed!

At least spikes and snowshoes aren’t bad for a the descent but not necessary. Awesome short trail, gains about 2k in elevation over 1.5 miles so it can be tough if you’re not used to it but it’s nothing scary and the summit and hike back down is breezy and lovely!

Decent amount of snow when I did this on thanksgiving. step from the first step to about the last though it's not too bad with the proper gear (spikes and poles at least). Not too difficult for a 4kf.
Very worth it though, great views of Lafayette, Lincoln and liberty. I would recommend this to anyone.

3 months ago

A great trail, pretty much steady uphill the whole way with a couple pretty steep areas. There’s not a wide view at the summit but you can see pretty far in a limited arc. Washington and the Southern Presidentials were snow-capped and looked great, and Tripyramid was pretty imposing about 5 miles away.

Bring spikes, you’ll need them. It got snowy maybe 3/4 mile up on Nov 25.

3 months ago

Nice trail overall not too much too see at the top but the 1 mile stretch straight up can be difficult if out of shape!! Spikes are a must , especially for coming down with the snow cover..!!

Good winter hike! The straight up for a mile was a bit killer, but we are still beginner hikers. Beautiful scenery hiking up the trail with the cozy snow covered pines.

beautiful day yesterday. trails have 2 or 3 inches of snow. definitely bring your microspikes. whole loop took us about 6.5 hours from start to finish. gray jays were out. Perfect winter hike.

3 months ago

Great 4 Seasons hike today 11/25/17. Just enough snow dusting and ice to fill in some of the rocket. Steady hike straight up, no switch backs. Just over 2 hours up and 1.5 hours down. Small view at the top.

The trail was consistently steep and had a lot of fun scrambling on the way up. There were some great overlooks before hitting the summit, then the tower at the top which had nice views but was extremely busy with tram passengers.

3 months ago

Trailhead on Tripoli Rd is NOT accessible in the winter months. (Road is closed.)

3 months ago

What a great winter hike. Not too icy but still a slippery challenge. Pretty fast up and back. One sided view that is beautiful!

3 months ago

Wasn’t prepared for snow on the ground, but it made it even better. Constant climb. Great workout.
1 hr 45 to summit, 1 hr 15 to come down.
If you start at Waterville Valley Ski Resort, try to park at Lot 1, that’s where trail head is located.
Tripoli Rd is closed during the winter months (starting in November) after the Ski Resort (going west). If you’re coming from I-93 exit 28 and then 49, getting here is not a problem. The other trailhead starting further west on Tripoli road is accessible via exit 31 with exception of winter (November til April) as Tripoli Rd is closed. Again: trailhead on Tripoli Rd NIT accessible in the winter.

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