Waterville Valley, New Hampshire 03215Mount Tecumseh (SummitPost) webpage
Mount Tecumseh is the smallest of the official New Hampshire 4000-footers and is an easy hike. The mountain is a nice place to introduce your skeptical friends and family members to the high peaks of New Hampshire and is a fairly easy hike from either approach. The eastern approach is hardly rustic; Waterville Valley is a developed ski area, with its facilities on Mount Tecumseh. However, the approach from Tripoli Road is unfettered by civilization.
The views from the summit are limited, but peek-a-boo views give glimpses of the Tripyramids, Osceola, the Franconia Range with Mt. Lafayette, Moosilauke, and the Kinsmans, as well as the lesser peaks in the area. As the hike is a short one; ambitious peak baggers can add Mt. Tecumseh to a day of climbing the Osceolas or the Tripyramids.
Mount Tecumseh is named for the great Shawnee native American leader, who tried to unite Native American tribes in the early 1800s to resist the colonialists. Tecumseh fought alongside the British during the War of 1812, successfully raiding in Ontario and Michigan. He was killed in the Battle of the Thames, near Thamesville, Ontario, on October 5, 1813.
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In the decades prior to 1911, the unregulated logging practices of private timber companies in the White Mountains had resulted in a damaged landscape susceptible to both fire and flood. Fires had burned thousands of acres, and flash floods affected the water power necessary to the mills of major industrial centers downstream, such as Manchester, New Hampshire, and Lowell, Massachusetts. Concerns over losses to industry, business, and tourism, and the growing conservation movement led to citizen action. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) spearheaded an effort to ensure the permanent protection of the White Mountains from further depredation. After years of lobbying and intense public pressure, Senator John Weeks of Massachusetts, a native of Lancaster, New Hampshire, introduced legislation that became known as the Weeks Act. The Weeks Act was passed by Congress in 1911, appropriating 9 million dollars to purchase 6 million acres of land in the Eastern U.S. In turn, this led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) in 1918, and twenty-one other national forests throughout the north and southeast. Many of the groups who were instrumental in the passage of the Weeks Act, including the SPNHF and the AMC, are still active today, and the WMNF has grown from 7,000 acres to almost 800,000. Today, the reforested mountains and hillsides supply forest products and provide magnificent recreational opportunities while maintaining healthy watersheds and ecosystems.
Restrooms on site
Wheelchair accessible trail
Content from White Mountain National Forest Official Website
Last updated November 11, 2023