Because the first section of the trail will require some maildrop planning, I sat down with my Cohos Trail Guidebook and White Mountains guidebook and set up a pretty sweet itinerary for myself. Here’s what came out of the Whites:
The Cohos Trail goes over the Kilkenny Range, which is the northern part of the White Mountains National Forest, and then passes through the town of Jefferson. From there, it goes back into the forest for a hop over Cherry Mountain. I’ll diverge mostly from the Cohos after this, going west to the Hale Brook Trail, going up to Mt Hale, then east to Zealand Falls Hut, Mt Tom, and down to Crawford Notch at the Highland Center.
The next leg of the trip goes up the Crawford Path to Mount Washington, going over Pierce, Eisenhower, Franklin and Monroe on my way to the top. From Washington, I head down the Davis Path over Boott Spur, Mount Isolation, Mount Davis, and Stairs Mountain on my way to Crawford Notch at Hart’s Location.
After a short roadwalk in the notch, I head up to Nancy and Norcross Ponds, and Carrigain Mountain, then Sawyer Pond, and Hancock Mountain and down to the Kancamagus Highway.
Another short roadwalk on the Kanc brings me to the trail to Greeley Ponds, Mt Osceola, and Mount Tecumseh. The bottom of Tecumseh is Waterville Valley ski area, where I will probably pick up a mail drop, then head back into the woods of the Sandwich Range.
The Sandwich Range will be a sort of out-and-back trip, starting with the Tripyramids, and the Sleepers, crossing east to Whiteface, Passaconaway and Chocorua. Then I head back west to the smaller, but just as scenic Wonalancet range, Flat Mountain pond, Sandwich Dome, Mount Israel, and the range northwest of Squam Lake.
Not counting the Kilkennys, this route hits 20 of New Hampshire’s 4000 footers, and about a dozen of the slightly shorter peaks. It includes approximately 150 miles of trail, with a few miles of road to connect them. Of course, depending on weather and my physical condition, I may have to edit this itinerary as I go along, but for an ideal plan, I’d say this is sweet, sweet insanity.