Trip report


Trail Maintenance DATE: 06/01/2024 - 06/01/2024

Trip/Event Location: Waterville Valley, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf , JDNnh

Max # People: 15

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Volunteer with GayOutdoors members for a day of trail work on our adopted trail, Mt. Osceola & East Peak! Mt. Osceola & East Osceola is extremely popular in summer due to its gradual

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

At exit 28 of Interstate 93, northbound travelers turn right at the end of the exit ramp and drive 10 miles to Waterville Valley on NH 49 East. As you enter Waterville Valley turn left, and drive towards the Waterville Valley Ski area and be sure not to miss the right turn to Tripoli Road. From NH 49, it's 4.5 miles on a gravel road to the crest of the 2,300 foot pass. You'll probably have to park on one side of the road. We'll meet at the parking area kiosk. We'll be driving a blue Toyota Tacoma Truck.  

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

After the spring snow melts and winter’s pockets of ice dissolve on New Hampshire’s trails and peaks, an army of fixers moves in to repair the hiking landscape. You usually don’t know they’re there. Blowdowns. Broken branches. Ruptured or clogged dirt water bars that shunt rushing water off hiking trails. Vegetation growing into the trail.

When mud season finally winds down, it’s GayOutdoors and Pemi Valley Hikers time. I'm not sure if anyone in our group will ever be able to pass another water bar again without wanting to clear the debris out of it. Trail maintenance is not only a case of giving back. It’s investing in the future. It keeps trails open for future folks. As trail adopters, it’s something that gets in your blood!

Mike and Jon prepared for the day by borrowing tools from the White Mountain National Forest tool shed: fire rakes, grub hoes and axes. These were complimented by sharing their own tools: hand saws and loppers. The tools were placed in our truck and driven to the start of the Mt. Osceola Trailhead. When we got there at 8:30AM, there were already 30 cars parked in the parking lot and along the road! 

With a whole lotta help from GayOutdoors and Pemi Valley Hikers, one first timer and five long timers were able to get Mt. Osceola Trail cleaned up for the start of 2024 and National Trails Day! We took care of the Mt. Osceola Trail from Tripoli Road to the summit of Mt. Osceola. We covered 3.2 miles and spent 7 hours working at it. We are fortunate to have these groups as partners, and our trails project fit in well with our philosophy of getting involved with giving back to the trails!

We spent the day refurbishing 51 water bars, which keep the trails from eroding or washing away in heavy rain. Dave really got into clearing water bars! Jon took the photos but don’t let that fool you, he did plenty of work too!

Nate was a first timer and did an awesome job! We also spent time cutting back encroaching vegetation and scooping fallen branches and tossing them into the woods. There was lots of corny humor by someone who shall not be named but he does like bugs!   

The trail was in great shape and it felt like previous hikers with handsaws had already cleared some of the blowdowns. THANK YOU!

There was a leaning blowdown that Jason took down with his axe.  Further down, everyone stepped into action to remove a stepover blowdown. And Anja was so ambitious she decided to start clearing rock!

We were rewarded with breathtaking views from the summit. It’s no wonder that Mt. Osceola is extremely popular in summer due to its gradual ascent to the highest peak in Waterville Valley, on the NH four-thousand-footer list at 4,340 feet and has a vast panorama from its summit ledges!

And throughout the day, we received a multitude of thanks of hikers passing by. They really appreciate us doing it. It becomes rewarding in that sense. It makes you want to do more!

Many had no idea that people actually have to take care of the trails to make them as good as they do! Although it did look like we were serial killers, so it explains why some hikers quickly passed us by without saying a word…LOL! Thankfully the black flies were not a problem but Jason had to wear one, well, just to see how fashionable he looked!

Afterwards, we invited everyone back at Mike and Jon’s house along the Mad River. Mike was unable to help this year as he’s recovering from a knee replacement surgery but applauded as everyone arrived!  Festivities began with hanging out on the deck soaking in the views with cheese & crackers, hummus and broccoli, and cheesy spread with crackers accompanied by wine & beer. Jon prepared a hiker’s feast that included bourbon glazed salmon with roasted fingerling potatoes, vegetable lasagna, pesto penne pasta, fresh garden salad, warm buttered dinner rolls and award-winning wine.  For dessert, we had a NY style cheesecake topped with a blueberry and raspberry. YUM!

As we look back on the day, it really hit home the importance of GayOutdoors. We promote visibility and that we care about our White Mountain National Forest trails with sweat equity. It’s really rewarding to be able to look back and see the work we do together. We want to thank everyone who helped out. We cannot even begin to say how much fun he had working with you all. Thank you all so much, for everything.

We really need more people to help out. We hope this inspires more to join us next year! If you’re out there using the trails, you should probably help maintain them as well! Everyone takes a tool or two and sees how far they get in the time they have available. We will be returning to do trail maintenance at the end of June to take care of Mt. Osceola Trail over East Peak and across the ridge to Mt. Osceola.  

The day was so much fun for everyone, all out enjoying the camaraderie of shared work to help support the trails we love!

Mike and Jon


- The Trip Has No Photos -

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

Townsend, MA

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Gilford, NH

United States

No Show

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Ipswich, MA

United States

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