Wednesday, May 20, 2020

In the Osceola Woods

A 7-mile X-C ski trail and bushwhack loop on the southern slopes of Mt. Osceola, visiting several points of interest.

A beautiful day in Waterville Valley.

Mt. Osceola from the well-named Osceola Vista Campground.

The huge slide in the ravine west of Osceola Brook, triggered by Hurricane Carol in 1954.

Waterville Valley X-C ski trail signage.

Enjoyable walking on these old roads.

I paid a visit to the site of Osceola Camp, used by the loggers of Parker-Young Co. and Marcalus Manufacturing Co. in the 1940s. As mentioned in previous posts, the lumber for our house in Lincoln was cut on the slopes above here in 1948.

One of the larger artifacts at the site.

Not sure what this was.

A potpourri of artifacts. As always, please note that these are protected by law and should not be removed or disturbed.

Seven decades later.

Wash bowl?

Higher up the slope I picked up a 1940s sled road and followed it to the NE.

A nice open stretch of the old road.

The road lured me ever onward and upward, as it curved north into the ravine of Osceola Brook. It was peppered with prickly conifers - some blood was drawn - and strewn with old blowdowns, but the terrace of the roadbed provided much surer footing than would be encountered in the adjacent rough sidehill terrain.

A peek up at the wild and tangled southern spur ridge of East Osceola.

A glimpse of the summit of East Osceola through the trees.

I followed the road for 1.2 miles, until it became fully snow-covered at 2850 ft.

After taking a look at a steep tributary brook, I retraced steps down the road.

Back down in the hardwoods, a fine display of Red Trilliums.

I dropped down the slope and followed another old sled road back towards Osceola Brook.

Down along the brook I meandered past several cascades.

Strong flow due to snowmelt.

Nice cascade/pool combo.

This spot was named Osceola Rapids by Waterville Valley hikers of the late 1800s. There was a trail to this spot in the 1890s, and in 1900 Arthur L. Goodrich extended the trail all the way up the ravine to the col between Mt. Osceola and East Osceola. It was named the Ravine Path and later the Osceola Brook Trail. It was abandoned in the 1940s.

Another angle.

A different kind of boot shot.

From the Rapids I climbed onto the ridge to the east, through open spruce forest.

I made my way to the top of a small cliff I had visited once before.

From here there is a humble but pleasant vista of Sandwich Dome and Jennings Peak, with shadowed Noon Peak below.

Adding Black Mountain and Sachem Peak to the view.


Hardwood glade below the cliff.

Window view of North Tripyramid. Though the open part of the North Slide is bare, the word is that deep snow lurks in the woods at the base.

Boulder garden and hardwood slope. Big woods out here.

There are many bear trees on this ridge.

More bear sign. As I descended through these hardwoods, I noticed the impression of a large footprint in some leaves. A few minutes later I said hello to a large black bear just down the slope from me. The bear looked up at me and then continued about its business, while I changed course to put some distance between us. An interesting day in the Osceola woods!

No comments:

Post a Comment