Mount Madison (5,367 feet)

Mount Madison from Gulfside Trail

Mount Madison is the northern most mountain in the Presidential Range offering great views into the Madison and Great Gulf Wilderness, south to Mount Washington, North into Maine, and West into Vermont from it's jagged rocky summit.  Madison Springs Hut is located just .5 miles south of the Summit in a col between the summits of Madison and Mount JQ Adams which is a sub peak of Mount Adams.  Weather above treeline on Mount Madison can be just as extreme as Mount Washington so caution should be taken while planning a hike.  Many trails that lead to Mount Madison and Adams can be accessed from the Appalachia Parking Area on Route 2 just a few miles south of the town of Gorham.

Trails I've Hiked

-Valley Way: 4.2 miles, 4,100 elevation gain (via Osgood Trail). Located at the Appalachia trailhead is the most direct and easiest route to Madison Springs hut just a half mile below the summit.  The trail doesn't offer many views since it's below treeline until a few hundred feet from the hut.  The trail has moderate grades, only gets slightly steep in a few short bursts, and has the best footing of any trails ascending the northern presidentials.  Once to the hut take the Osgood Trail (located just before and behind the hut) a half mile to the summit.  The Osgood Trail is above treeline, ascends steeply strait up at first then bends up and around the summit ridge until making it's way to the narrow summit of Mount Madison.

-Watson Path: 4.1 miles, 4,100 elevation gain (via Valley Way and The Brookside). The Watson Path affords great views while hiking above treeline to the Mount Madison's summit.  Above treeline the trails is very rough, steep, doesn't have the best footing, and usually is in direct line of the north/north westerly winds.  In bad weather conditions it is not recomended to ascend Mount Madison by using Watson Path as it can be very dangerous.  One should seriously take note of the yellow sign just before reaching treeline ***The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many have died there from exposure even in the summer. Turn back now if the weather is bad***

-Howker Ridge Trail: 4.5 miles, 4,450 elevation gain (via Osgood Trail) This trailhead can be found on Dolly Copp Road at the Randolph East parking area.  This trail can also be accessed from Appalacia via Maple Walk and Sylvan Way adding another 1.0 mile to the trip.  The Howker Ridge Trail has decent to rough footing in different parts of the trail, while only moderately steep it does have a few up and downs as it ascends along the ridge and it's four tiny peaks called the "Howks."  The Howker Ridge Trail has some pretty excellent views from higher elevations and is lightly traveled compared to Watson Path and Valley Way.

-Osgood Trail: 5.1 miles to Madison Summit, 5.6 miles to Madison Springs Hut, 4,050 elevation gain (via Great Gulf Trail) The Osgood Trail is part of the Appalachain Trail from the Osgood Cutoff to it's terminus at the Madison Spring Hut.  The trail is well blazed and maintained the whole way and has moderate to steep grades with some rough footing.  The Osgood Trail runs above treeline for the last 1.7 miles and caution should be taken if weather conditions are bad as high winds pounds the exposed trail.

Daniel Webster-Scout Trail: 4.1 miles, elevation gain 4,100 feet via the Osgood Trail. The Daniel Webster-Scout Trail (3.5 miles , 3,600 feet) ascends to the northern ridge of Mount Madison. Below treeline the trail starts off with easy grades with good footing, then changes to moderate grades with ok footing, and once above treeline the footing becomes the usual awful rock hopping as the grades become steeper. The trail above treeline is difficult to follow as blazes above treeline are faint and the cairns are very small. This trail could become dangerous in bad weather/low visibility due to exposure and lake of trail markings. Views above treeline are excellent on a good weather day. The Daniel Webster-Scout Trail ends at Osgood Junction 0.6 miles below the summit of Mount Madison.

Trip Reports:

November 11th, 2016: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South

August 24th, 2016: Up Valley Way, Brookside, & Watson Path, down Osgood Trail, up Gulfside Trail, down Lowe's Path, Randolph Path, Amphibrach, and The Link

August 20th, 2016: Weekend Warrior Loop

June 24th, 2016: Up Pine Link & Howker Ridge, down Osgood Trail & Valley Way

June 18th, 2016: Presidential Range Traverse vs Great Range Challenge

June 16th, 2016: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South (No Report)

May 29th, 2016: Up Airline, down Star Lake Trail, up Osgood Trail, down Watson Path, across Pine Link, up Airline Cutoff, down Airline, down Upper Bruin, Valley Way, Lower Bruin, Brookside, Fallsway

January 7th, 2016: Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Star Lake Trail, Lowe's Path, Gulfside Trail, Mount Jefferson Loop, Randolph Path, Amphibrach, The Link, Presi Rail Trail

October 19th, 2015: Up Howker Ridge, Pine Link, and Watson Path, down Osgood Trail, Valley Way, and Randolph Path

September 26th, 2015: Presidential Range Traverse Run (North to South)

August 2nd, 2015: Up Pine Link Trail, Howker Ridge Trail, Osgood Trail, across Gulfside Trail, up and down Jefferson Loop, across Gulfside Trail, up and down Clay Loop, up Gulfside Trail, down Crawford Path, Southside, Tuckerman Crossover, Camel Trail, Davis Path, Glen Boulder Trail, Direttissima

April 19th, 2015:  Up Airline, down Gulfside, up Osgood Trail, down Watson Path and Valley Way

March 10th, 2015:  Up Valley Way, Up and down Osgood Trail, Up and down Gulfside and Airline trails, down Valley Way

December 15th, 2014: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South

June 15th, 2014: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South

October 12th, 2013: Presidential Range Traverse

August 10th, 2013: MMD 50K

July 21st, 2013: Double Presidential Range Traverse

March 9th, 2013: Presidential Range Traverse

February 26th, 2013: Up and down Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Gulfside Trail,and Airline

May 20th, 2012: Double Presidential Traverse

May 19th, 2012: Madison through Isolation Loop

September 10th, 2011: Up Great Gulf and Six Husbands Trail to Jefferson, across Gulfside Trail, up Osgood Trail over summit of Madison and back down and out via Great Gulf Trail

July 30th, 2011: MMD - More and More Difficult: "Pinkham Notch Loop" Dolly Copp Road, Route 16, Up North Branch of Imp Trail, across Carter-Moriah and Wildcat Ridge, down Polecat Ski Trail, up-over-down Lila's Ledge to Old Jackson Road, Up Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head to Washington, across Clay, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison via Gulfside, Clay Loop, Jefferson Loop, Isreal Ridge/Lowe's Path, and Osgood Trail, down Daniel Webster-Scout Trail, road walk back to Barnes Field

June 27th, 2011: Double Presidential Traverse

February 16th, 2011: Up and down Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Airline, Gulfside Trail, Mount Jefferson Loop Trail

November 13th, 2010: Up Watson Path, across Gulfside Trail, down Castle Trail

June 19th, 2010: Presidential Traverse (North to South)

May 30th, 2010: Up Great Gulf and Six Husbands Trail to Jefferson, across Gulfside Trail to Adams, down Star Lake Trail, Osgood Trail over summit of Madison and back down and out via Great Gulf Trail

March 27th, 2010: Up Valley Way, up and down Madison via Osgood Trail, up and down Adams via Airline & Lowe's Path, across Gulfside Trail, up Jefferson Loop Trail and back

November 7th, 2009: Up Valley Way and Osgood Trail, down Randolph Path

September 19th, 2009: Up Castle Trail, across Gulfside Trail, to Madison Summit via Star Lake Trail and up Osgood Trail, down Howker Ridge Trail

August 8th, 2009: Presidential Traverse (South to North)

June 28th, 2008: Presidential Traverse (North to South)

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