Via the Mt. Tecumseh Trail from the ski area to summit and back 5 miles 2,200 feet in elevation gain
Mount Tecumseh is the smallest of the 48, four thousand footers in New Hampshire. It makes the list, coming in at 4,003 feet above sea level. It is also remote as it is nestled in the small town of Waterville Valley where there is only one main road that is open year round. Despite these facts it is a fun mountain to climb and can be approached quite easily by several different trails. All of these trails are short 2.5 -3.1 miles so this is a good mountain for a winter hike with shorter daylight hours or as a several hour day hike. We hiked in in the second week of December and while there was a little ice and snow it was all-together a very pleasant day for both dogs and myself. At this time of year the Tripoli Road was closed so the approach to the summit that was available was the Mt. Tecumseh Trail.
This trail starts in the Waterville Valley Ski Resort parking area at the top right side of the lot. There is signage for hikers and the trailhead is easy to spot. Immediately after entering the trail there is a crossing of the Tecumseh Brook, it is easy but may be harder in higher water. The trail follows the brook for .3 miles before crossing it again. At mile 1.1 the trail drops down into a ravine and crosses the brook a third and final time. From here it ascends and reconnects with its former route to the summit. About 20 yards from the trail at this spot is the edge of the ski slope, where views can be obtained by stepping out of the woods into the cleared area. From here it climbs an old rocky road but well maintained for hiking with many stone steps up the steep slope. At mile 2.2 the Sosman Trail enters from the ski area. The summit side trail is marked with a crooked sign and after .3 miles of steady climbing up it is reached. The summit is marked with a cairn, and someone took the liberty of clearing up the views by illegally removing some trees so now Osceola and the Tripyramids can be seen on clear days. The Forest Service has placed warnings about illegal cuttings around the summit now as well.
We returned the way we came up down the Mt. Tecumseh Trail back to the ski area. The day we hiked the only mild hazard was a little ice and snow on the trail. I was aided by some micro-spikes but the dogs were fine with just their claws for traction. There is plenty of water in the beginning part of the trail and with its relatively short distance from parking to summit we did not need to bring a lot of extra water for them. We did not encounter any obstacles that were hard to ascend or go around and did not need to help the dogs with anything. This is a great mountain for a dog new to hiking because it is rewarding and not overly taxing. The gain from parking area to summit is 2,200 feet so it is not a complete cakewalk either. I would recommend this mountain to most dogs and people as a good day experience. It took up slightly under 3 hours round-trip. The AMC book time for this hike is 3 hours 35 minutes by way of the Tecumseh Trail.