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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Willard
Carroll, NH, Bethlehem, NH, Hart's Location, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
The Mt. Willard Trail
The Mt. Willard Trail

Route: Avalon Trail, Mt. Willard Trail, (herd path to true summit), (Mt. Willard), Mt. Willard Trail, Avalon Trail

Today's after work hike was Mt. Willard. Despite the area still being rather busy, I was able to choose from a few parking spaces across from Saco Lake.

Proceeding up the Mt. Willard Trail from the Avalon Trail, I passed a bunch of hikers descending. I expected it to busy, though, so no big deal. The ascent was rather tame - probably one of the easiest, most constant 900' or so vertical feet I've ever hiked.

As I rounded the last corner and looked down a long straightaway with blue sky, I didn't hear too much. A sunny day, lots of traffic in Conway, excellent hiking temperatures (70 degrees), and a very popular I walked onto the ledge, I realized there was only a group of three people here with me! I quickly proceeded to try to find the high point - there were some herd paths up the ledge a bit and one with a tall, dead tree visible seemed to be the highest point.

Back to the ledges, the views were great - the sheer drop off of the cliff, the quick ascent of Willey and Webster, and the long stretch of Route 302 and the Saco River with Mt. Chocorua in the distant background.

After visiting with one of the others on the summit, I headed down, crossing over to the dark side - I finally broke down and bought an mp3 player for hiking. I find descents to be taxing - especially when I'm seeing the same terrain and my knee's sore - so the distraction of music seems to make things go by faster. Booya.

I only passed one other group of hikers on the descent - in other words, this might be a tolerable hike with evening approaching, as it doesn't offer sunset views. It certainly lives up to the hype - one of the best mountain views for minimal effort.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Willard
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Easy
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Heavy

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Hike Commenced: 4:07 PM
Parking Elevation: 1,900'
Destination: Mt. Willard
Ascent Commenced: 4:13 PM
Summit Reached: 4:50 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:37
Trailhead Elevation: 1,900'
Summit Elevation: 2,865'
Distance: 1.5 miles
Vertical Gain: 980'
Hike Ended: 5:51 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 01:44
Hike Vertical Gain: 1,000'

The Avalon Trail trailhead next to the train station
The Avalon Trail trailhead next to the train station

Looking south south east from the cliff near the Mt. Willard summit - Click to enlarge
Looking south south east from the cliff near the Mt. Willard summit

Topographic map of Mt. Willard

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 302 west from Bartlett, NH. There is a parking area on the left side of the road at the top of the pass. Continue down the road on foot to the rail station - the Avalon Trail trailhead is across the tracks

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