25 Miles of Fun . . . Finishing off the November Grid

Date of Hike: 11/21/15

Mount Osceola Trail: 5.1 miles  /  Greeley Ponds Trail: 1.2 miles  /  Kancamagus Highway: 0.8 miles  /  Hancock Notch Trail: 1.6 miles  /  Cedar Brook Trail: 0.8 miles  /  Hancock Loop Trail: 4.4 miles  /  Cedar Brook Trail: 0.8 miles  /  Hancock Notch Trail: 1.6 miles  /  Kancamagus Highway: 0.8 miles  /  Greeley Ponds Trail: 5.3 miles  /  Livermore Trail: 0.43 miles  /  Tripoli Road: 2.9 miles
Total Miles: 25.6 (6,627 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- When I grid out a month or mountain I try and do something a little out-of-the-box. Today I started on Tripoli Road and hiked over the Osceola's and down to and out Greeley Ponds Trail to the Kanc. I then walked to the hairpin curve and ducked into the woods for a late morning hike of the Hancock's. Once out of the woods I headed back down the Kanc and made my way over Mad River Notch and Greeley Ponds for the first time since November of 1989, a lot has changed in there! Following my walk in the woods I ended with a good ol' uphill road walk over Tripoli Road back to the Jeep. Seven years to grid November, (Whiteface 2008 - North Hancock 2015).  First sub twenty year grid month, progress!

 I hit the road early in the morning and catch sunrise while driving up Tripoli Road

Heading up the Mount Osceola Trail, it has easy to moderate grades.  The footing gets better as the trail gains elevation

This time of year and in mid spring there is a quarter mile stretch of angled slab along Breadtray Ridge that becomes icy and a little bit of a nuisance

Mount Osceola's summit used to have a fire tower, which is long gone.  There is a great view from the summit ledges,  East Peak Osceola in view

Mount Osceola summit ledge

Looking towards my next target for the day, north towards the Hancocks

Early morning sun shinning above the Tripyramids and the Sandwich Range

 In the col between main and east pick is the 'Chimney'.  It had just a tiny bit of ice so I used the bypass to the side of it

The hairpin curve and the Hancocks

The slide that the Mount Osceola Trail crosses diagonally below east peak
After the steep descent down from East Osceola and an easy walk out along the Greeley Ponds Trail I hoof it up the Kanc to the hairpin curve

The first threeish miles is flat and has easy grades along the Hanock Notch, Cedar Brook, and lower end of the Hancock Loop trails.  Once the trail splits at the north and south link of the Hancock Loop Trail the path becomes eroded and steep (lower right image) 

 The trail between the peaks is a lovely walk in the woods and there is a good view from North Hancock's outlook.  Osceola's in view

Heading down the steep and eroded north link of the Hancock Loop Trail

Arrow Slide

The nice reroute along the Cedar Brook Trail, a welcome change to the old muddy and water logged washed out old section of trail

After hiking the Hancock's I road walk the Kanc back down to Greeley Ponds trailhead, (Osceola's and Mad River Notch pictured)

The height of land at Mad River Notch is a big boulder.  Past the notch I slightly descend to upper Greeley Ponds

 Mount Kancamagus from Lower Greeley Ponds

Lower Greeley Ponds

Overall the Greeley Ponds Trail is in great shape, however this hundred foot section is just a little water logged!

Crossing the Mad River, from here I would be on very nicely graded old logging roads back to the Livermore Trail

Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 left a path of destruction through Mad River Valley.  Here is the upper reroute of the Greeley Ponds Trail

A nice new bridge at the Kancamagus Ski Trail junction

Heading out past the the lower reroute of the Greeley Ponds Trail

I could drive my Jeep through here!

The old Livermore Road/Trail

Once back to Tripoli Road I had a three mile walk back to the Jeep, uphill!

Route for the day, (click here for details

Elevation profile with some added graphics :) 


  1. What an innovative route. You get the best of both hiking worlds by gridding and doing things a little, or should i say a lot, differently! Thanks for the pictures, very useful to many of us hikers out there.

    1. Thanks, Anonymous. Glad you enjoyed the report and pics and hope you can get some good ideas for some fun hikes from some of my trip reports!

  2. Wow ! That's quite a hike !! Thanks for the report, enjoyed it and always learn something too. Happy Thanksgiving ! -Wendy

    1. Thanks, Wendy! Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving :)