Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Into the Great Gulf

It's been a couple of weeks since I rolled my ankle coming down the Lion Head trail. Have been resting the ankle, doing some bike riding and it's been feeling pretty good so thought it was time to give it a little test on the hiking trail. The plan was to hike up the Great Gulf Trail to the Osgood Trail across the Osgood Cutoff and back down the Great Gulf Trail - about 6 miles.

Early morning at the Great Gulf trailhead

Crossing the Peabody River

I reached the trailhead at 7:00am. It was a good time to start a hike on a hot day. Was still having some slight pain in my ankle due to my hiking boot hitting the tendons that were injured. I took a nice, big piece of moleskin, stuck it on and it did the trick. It was time to hit the trail.

Entering the Great Gulf Wilderness

Osgood Tentsite and Osgood Cutoff junction

Reaching the trail requires crossing a suspension bridge that spans the Peabody River. Once across the bridge the trail bears left. It's a very easy grade and the shade of the forest made for a cool hike. At 1.5 miles I reached the Osgood Trail. The bugs were persistent but tolerable.

Bear-proofing food

Toad blending in

Osgood Cutoff and Great Gulf Trail junction

The Osgood Trail climbs moderately up to the Osgood Tentsite. Having never been here before I wanted to check out the tentsite. I started walking into the tentsite area when I noticed food bags that were properly hung from the trees in order to thwart any bears that may be in the area. Once I saw these I turned back not wanting to disturb anyone that may still be sleeping.

Back at the trail junction I noticed a discrepancy in the distance of the Osgood Cutoff Trail. The map that I have indicates 0.6 and the sign had 0.3 for the mileage. I have since checked the White Mountain Guide and it also states 0.6. Having now hiked this trail it seems more like the 0.6 is correct. It was a quick hike across and I was now starting to descend. I noticed a lot of toads on this part of the trail and I had to be careful not to step on one - there were no casualties.

I reached the junction of the Great Gulf Trail and was soon at a place called The Bluff. This area allows for a good view and would be the only unobstructed view of the day for this hike. I took a short break and got some photos.

The air was getting warm and humid as I made my way back down to the Great Gulf parking lot. This was a good hike to try out my ankle and it appears to be healing quite well. Maybe I'll try a 4,000 footer next weekend!

1 comment:

  1. The Bluff was the site of a three-sided shelter once-upon-a-time. One of two in the Gulf up until the late 70s.