Hike Mt. Flume via the Osseo Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness

A Suspension Bridge Crossing the East Branch of the Pemigewasset Wilderness on the Lincoln Woods Trail11.2 miles round trip (including Lincoln Woods Trail and the Franconia Ridge Trail)
6-8 hours
Difficulty: Weekend Warriors

The Osseo Trail ascent of Mt. Flume has to rank as one of the “easier” 4,000-foot climbs in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Practically serving as a boundary marker between the Pemigewasset Wilderness and Franconia Notch State Park, it packs plenty of scenery to boot. All of which makes it a great option for casual hikers wanting to bag a 4,000-foot peak, or as a starter mountain for those eager to collect all 48.

To access the Osseo Trail, hikers begin on the Lincoln Woods Trail from the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center. This trail, which becomes the Wilderness Trail at the entry point to the Pemigewasset Wilderness, is a high-speed, inter-forest hiking highway delivering peak seekers to numerous trailheads throughout the Wilderness. The Osseo Trail is the first exit, located 1.4 miles in on the left.

I had the pleasure of hitting the Lincoln Woods Trail before any heavy foot traffic on a clear fall day, the early morning sunshine glowing like a prism in the leaves above. Turning onto the Osseo Trail at first seems a continuation of this leisurely stroll as it meanders alongside a brook. Having provided plenty of walking to warm up the legs, the trail eventually climbs a relatively steep bank. Upon reaching actual steepness, Osseo offers a series of switchbacks and a couple wooden staircases.

The Osseo Trail ends after 4.1 miles at a junction with the Flume Slide Trail and the beginning of the Franconia Ridge Trail. Continue straight on the Franconia Ridge Trail for 0.1 miles to reach the summit of Mt. Flume. From here more adventurous hikers can turn this hike into a multi-day trek by carrying on across Mt. Liberty, Mt. LincolnMt. Lafayette and perhaps the entire 31-mile Pemi Loop.

Directions
Take exit 32 on I-93 and at the end of the ramp turn left onto Rt. 112 East, also the Kancamagus Highway. Approximately 5.6 miles from the exit is the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center parking lot, which has a daily parking fee.
Osseo Trail Sign for Mt. Flume

The first 1.4 miles on the Lincoln Woods Trail is easy walking on an old logging road. The Osseo Trail head is clearly marked.

Early Osseo Trail on Mt. Flume

The early going on the Osseo Trail is equally as pleasant.

Osseo Trail Climb of Mt. Flume

When the climbing gets steep, there are plenty of switchbacks and rock staircases have been well maintained.

Osseo Trail Ladder on Mt. Flume

And then there are wooden ladders.

Pemigewasset Wilderness

There are a couple viewpoints along the Osseo Trail. This one is looking out over Mt. Bond and the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

Mt. Flume Summit

Looking out from the Mt. Flume summit.

Mt. Flume View

The view of Mt. Liberty from the Mt. Flume summit.

Mt. Flume Slide

Looking down on the Mt. Flume slide from the summit.

Mt. Flume View of Franconia Ridge

The view of the Franconia Ridge and mounts Lincoln and Lafayette from Flume.

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New Hampshire, New Hampshire Trail Reviews, Weekend Warriors
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Wow! You made it all the way to the bottom. If you enjoyed this article, please check out my book, Open Season: True Stories of the Maine Warden Service on Amazon or at www.wardenstories.com. You can also follow Northeast Hikes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as contribute to our sponsored Google+ Community.

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