Mount Willard is a terrific introduction to New Hampshire’s White Mountains — Act Out — Bangor Every day News — BDN Maine

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Difficulty: Moderate. The hike, out and back, is just more than three miles. The climb is gradual but continual. Even though the trail begins out as an effortless, packed trail, it becomes increasingly rocky and crosses a brook exactly where rock-hopping is necessary. Watch your step. Most of the trail is wide sufficient for two folks to stroll side by side.

How to get there: The trailhead is positioned behind the Crawford Notch Depot Macomber Loved ones Information and facts Center, which is run by the Appalachian Mountain Club. This visitor center is positioned off Route 302 in Bretton Woods, N.H, just north of the boundary of Crawford Notch State Park. This depot is eight.four miles south of exactly where Route 302 intersects with Route three in Twin Mountain and it is 20.six miles north of exactly where Route 302 intersects with Route 16 in Glen. The GPS coordinates of the visitor center parking lot are 44.218592, -71.410871. At the visitor center, indicators will direct you to cross the railroad tracks to attain the trailhead.

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Information and facts: Increasing two,865 feet above sea level, Mount Willard is a well-known and conveniently-accessible location to hike in the heart of the White Mountains. Traveling up the mountain’s gradual north slope, the 1.six-mile Mount Willard Trail leads to an overlook close to the mountain’s summit that presents amazing views of Crawford Notch.

Beginning at the Crawford Notch Depot and visitor center, the hike starts on Avalon Trail, a wide packed trail that sooner or later leads to Mount Avalon, Mount Tom and beyond. About .1 mile down Avalon Trail, you will turn left onto Mount Willard Trail. The intersection is marked with a sign.

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Mount Willard Trail begins out pretty smooth. Early on, it crosses a brook. There is not a bridge, but you can normally rock hop with out obtaining your feet wet.

As you climb the mountain, you will come to some specifically rocky sections of trail, as properly as some huge rock actions. About .five mile into the hike, you will come to a quick side trail major to Centennial Pool. A sign marks this clear pool, which is positioned at the base of a smaller waterfall.

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The subsequent section of trail is a bit steeper then levels off a bit prior to ending at the overlook, a extended stretch of exposed bedrock atop the cliffs on Mount Willard’s south side. From the overlook, Webster Cliffs rises up on your left. Straight ahead, Route 302 threads by means of Crawford Notch. And to the ideal of the road, close at hand, is the steep slope of Mount Wiley.

If hiking with kids or dogs, be positive to hold them away from the edge of the cliffs.

The trail dead-ends, as a result, Mount Willard is an out-and-back hike measuring about three.two miles.

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At the trailhead, the Crawford Notch Depot and visitor center characteristics a present shop (exactly where you can choose up beneficial trail maps), good restrooms and vending machines.

Technically, the Mount Willard hike starts in White Mountains National Forest, and just beyond Centennial Pool, the trail crosses the border into Crawford Notch State Park.

Crawford Notch State Park covers five,775 acres in the White Mountains, delivering access to quite a few hiking trails, waterfalls and fishing spots. Dogs are permitted on hiking trails and designated dog stroll places only, and they will have to be on leashes no longer than six feet.

Crawford Notch was named following the Crawford family members, which had been early innkeepers in the notch and helped open up the area to recreators by cutting trails. According to the Bartlett Historical Society, Tom Crawford, operator of the Notch Home, named Mount Willard following the climbing companion Joseph Willard.

For a lot more data about Crawford Notch State Park, take a look at nhstateparks.org or get in touch with 603-374-2272.

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Individual note: Prior to attending a wedding in New Hampshire, my husband Derek and I decided to squeeze in a quick hike in the White Mountains. We chosen Mount Willard due to the fact the trail was comparatively quick (compared to a lot of other trails in the location) and on the internet sources stated that the major of the mountain would give panoramic views of the area. Getting by no means been to the White Mountains prior to, I was excited to see as considerably as attainable.

Dozens of automobiles had been parked at the Crawford Notch Depot when we arrived in the late afternoon, however we only passed a couple of hikers on Mount Willard Trail. I’m guessing this is due to the fact quite a few other trails are accessible from that unique visitor center, dispersing outside enthusiasts in all directions.

Prior to our hike, we utilized the visitor center’s composting toilets, which had been clean and not noticeably smelly. Really a treat. Then we bought a trail map of Crawford Notch State Park ($four.50) from the present shop. The map would serve as a reference and souvenir, but it wasn’t truly important for navigation. Hiking Mount Willard is pretty simple with only one particular intersection, which is marked with a sign.

Numerous on the internet sources had described Mount Willard Trail as steep, so I was ready for some scrambling. But the grade wasn’t almost as steep as I believed it would be. The climb was continual, which undoubtedly got our blood pumping, but it was absolutely nothing as well crazy.

For most of the hike, Derek and I walked side by side, a luxury we do not get on narrower hiking trails. Along the way, we stopped to inspect what we think to be old culverts, exposed from years of water draining down the trail.

At the overlook at the finish of the trail, we met a couple with their young son. He looked about six or 7 years old. They had been holding his hand as they walked along the trail, which is set back just a quick distance from the cliffs.

Following our hike, we drive south by means of Crawford Notch, passing by the impressive escarpments of Frankenstein Cliffs. I marked it down on my list of future hikes in the White Mountains.

For a lot more of Aislinn Sarnacki’s adventures, take a look at her weblog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com. Stick to Aislinn Sarnacki on Twitter: @1minhikegirl and Instagram: @actoutdoors. Her guidebooks “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine,” “Maine Hikes Off the Beaten Path” and “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” are readily available at neighborhood bookstores and wherever books are sold.

 

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