Trip report

East Peak Trail Maintenance Day

Volunteering DATE: 05/25/2013 - 05/25/2013

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

Jon and I will be hosting part 2 of our annual trail maintenance day to GayOutdoors' newly adopted trail, Mt. Osceola. We have two weekends this year because the trail has been neglected in recent

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

 Please meet at our house for 9:00 am so we can make introductions, distribute tools, and arrange carpooling to the trailhead. We are meeting at our house: 676 Upper Mad River Road, Thornton, NH. 


Take I-93 and use Exit 28. At the end of the ramp take right onto Rte 49 East for 3.5 miles and take a left on Burbank Hill Road.

During this 3.5 miles, you'll pass a traffic light where there is a dam on your right, then pass a White Mountain National Forest campground and then see the William Tell Restaurant on your left. About a mile after the restaurant, you'll see Burbank Hill Road on the left (Goose Hollow Campground sign). If you cross the Mad River on the bridge, you just missed the left turn.

Take a left onto steep Burbank Hill Road and you’ll quickly reach the top of the hill where you take your first right onto Upper Mad River Road (Hiking Sign). The road will soon turn into gravel, you'll pass two apartments on your right and then a house. Our property begins right after this house and after about 200 yards you’ll see a mailbox with "676" which is our house. The house is not very visible from the road.

Please park your car in the upper lot at my house and walk down the driveway.

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Ten of us were able to get out for a day of trail work in rainy weather. The high temperature hovered around 40 degrees making it ideal hypothermia conditions....not a good thing. Most of us carried loppers but we also had pruning shears, bow saws, fire rakes and a grub hoe. We focused on brushing  but also built about six makeshift waterbars to take the water off the trail. Performing trail maintenance on a rainy day is a great opportunity to see how water is draining from the trail.

Mt. Osceola Trail has three distinct sections. The first section runs from Tripoli Road to the summit of Mt. Osceola that we worked on last week. This section is a moderate approach to Mt. Osceola and one the easier trails to a 4,000 footer. The other section runs from the Kancamagus Highway over to East Peak. This section has a very steep section to its summit. The third section has a ridge that connects two peaks and known for the ‘Chimney’, a steep rock scramble.

We left the house at 8:15AM and carpooled to the trailhead. We stopped at a tool cache in Lincoln, NH to pick up a fire rake and grub hoe. We arrived in the parking lot around 9:15AM with only 2 vehicles in the lot. On a nice, sunny day, this lot fills up quickly. We geared up and were off on the trail 15 minutes later. During the day we saw only about 4 people; the weather forecast certainly kept everyone indoors.

While it was tempting to start working right away, we had to walk 1.3 miles on the Greeley Ponds Trail until we reached the actual start of our adopted trail, Mt Osceola trail. However the major brook crossing on the Greeley Ponds Trail became a problem with one member of our group unwilling to attempt crossing it. Once we reached our adopted trail, we soon started to work on brushing and clearing water bars. Brushing and clearing water bars seems to be an ongoing process with trail maintenance, but that's that way it goes. Some water bars fill faster than others; vegetation growing back in faster than others. 

We continued up the section of trail below the cliffs and saw all the water running down the trail due to the rainy week. We ended up building some makeshift waterbars to get the water off the trail and when brooks/streams were crossing the trail, clearing debris on the other side so the water would flow faster. Around noon it stopped raining, a breeze was picking up and if felt like the temperature was dropping.

We we getting hungry and needed to refuel so about a half hour later stopped to have lunch right before the steep section. Hands were getting cold due to them being wet; and we started to get chilled from stopping. During lunch we decided to work for about a half hour more afterwards and then start heading back. I think everyone thought that was the best news of the day! There seemed to be a relief from everyone because I think we had reached the point where we had enough. After lunch we were making the steep ascent and knowing that we weren't going to reach the summit of East Peak today, there did not seem much of a point to continue.

On the return, we were just amazed how well our makeshift waterbars worked because there was no longer any water on the trail! And we could clearly see how the brushing we did made the trail wider and more comfortable to hike in! We stopped to enjoy some of the wildflowers on the descent including Hobblebush, Painted Trillium, and Goldthread. We safely crossed the brook on the Greeley Ponds trail and got back to our vehicles around 3PM with our muscle aches.

After trail work we took showers back at the house, relaxed around a fire, entertained Sunshine, enjoyed wine/beer and munched on snacks. Mike and Jeff helped Jon prepare the meal. We had our traditional hungry hiker BBQ feast cooked by Jon that included Harvest Pilaf, Red Bliss Potato Salad, Fresh Garden Salad, Sirloin Veggie Kabobs, and Indian Tandoori Chicken. We were originally going to have dessert but were too full afterwards. After dinner we went up to the loft to see pictures taken during the day and watch 'The Hobbit' movie. The next morning we cooked up pancakes [with maple syrup contributed by Bruce], pan fries, sausage. orange juice, and of course, coffee! 

GayOutdoors provided free lodging and meals for the weekend. Many GO members who helped us out this year earned a free White Mountain National Forest parking pass. GO is listed at all the trailheads as being a trail adopter that provides us with goodwill among the greater hiking community. 

GayOutdoors have been maintaining trails for six years now and all members have been really rewarded by the experience. It will take us a couple seasons on our newly adopted trail to get the brushing and water bars to a place where we feel "caught up." We would highly encourage all members who are considering adopting a trail to take a chance at it. We had no experience when we decided it was time to finally take this on after considering it for many years. Anyone that would like to see what it is like is more than welcome to come along on our trail maintenance trip next year and we can show you the basics of clearing water bars, brushing, and removing blowdowns. 

Jon and I are quite proud that 11 members still came to work on our adopted trail on a rainy and cold day! You guys ROCK! THANK YOU!!!

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • The weather may have been frightful but the day was anything but. Thanks to all who hit the trail on this rainy cold Saturday. The friendship and spirit of everyone warmed my heart! - JDNnh

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

guest member

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

Methuen, MA

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Lexington, MA

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Londonderry, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

s. portland, ME

United States

JDNnh May 26, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Comment: The weather may have been frightful but the day was anything but. Thanks to all who hit the trail on this rainy cold Saturday. The friendship and spirit of everyone warmed my heart!

Hiking, backpacking, camping or vacation adventures, GayOutdoors [GO] has been the LGBTQ outdoorzy community leader for the last 22 years. We are an informal group of diverse hiking enthusiasts in the United States with a shared love of the mountains who prefer hiking with friends. We invite you to join us on our hikes, to post hikes for other members to join you and to share your hiking photos, stories and advice.

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