NH – Mt. Willard

On a hot and humid day, joined by Leah and 5 year old Sam Story, we hiked Mt. Willard in Crawford Notch. We have done this many times over the years, but not since we started blogging our hikes. Mt. Willard (and Mt. Avalon behind it) are, in a sense, foothills of Mt. Willey. Mts. Tom, Willey, and Field are the 4000 footers that make up the western side of Crawford Notch.

The path runs from the AMC Information Center in Crawford Depot, on the west side of 302, across from Saco Lake, to the top of Mt. Willard overlooking Crawford Notch. The trail has good footing, with gradual and some flat ascent, and has magnificent views from the top. It is on the NH 52 With A View list and we also include it in our list of family-friendly hikes linked above.

The trail begins across the (active) railroad tracks coincident with the Avalon Trail (elev. ≈1890 ft). At .1 miles, the trail diverges left for Mt. Willard, with the trail sign indicating 1.6 miles from that point. It almost immediately crosses a small brook and soon turns right to start the ascent.

Crawford Depot.

Path to the trailhead.

Trailhead for Avalon and Willard.

Left for Mount Willard. The trail has yellow blazes.

At .5 miles is Centennial Pool (elev. ≈2190 ft.), with a short scramble down to the refreshing pool. The trail then bears left from the brook. At .7 miles, the trail joins an old carriage road. At 1.2 miles, the trail swings left and then right and at easy grades reaches the peak at 1.6 miles.

Centennial Pool.

Clear pool below.

Grades are pretty easy.

At the top (elev. ≈2800 ft.).

Webster on the left, looking southeast at Route 302.

Mount Washington in the distance (zoomed a bit).

Mt. Willard track.

All told, the elevation is about 900 feet, and is timed at about an hour and fifteen minutes. Including the .1 mile, the round trip is 3.4 miles.

August 13, 2021

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