For her birthday this year, my mom asked me to bring her and my dad on a quick hike some place nice. Additional constraints included a leisurely start from Methuen, MA around 9AM, and a goal of finishing in time for an early dinner some place up in the mountains followed by the ride back to Mass.
With these things in mind, I pulled out some maps, and guide books and started investigating. The solution could hardly have satisfied our requirements better. Willard is hardly a real mountain; it tops off just under 3000′ and is dwarfed by the surrounding 4 and 5 thousand footers. However, it’s situated right at the crux of Crawford Notch with an outstanding south-facing overlook. Words don’t really do justice to the phenomenon that is Crawford Notch, so I’ll rely on technology.
View Willard in a larger map
The hike conveniently begins at the AMC Highland Center. The route from the lodge up to Willard is less than a mile and half and it covers only 900′ of vertical. The trail takes you over the top of Willard and dumps you out on a spectacular ledge on the south side of the mountain with superb views of the Webster cliffs and the Saco River. After taking in the view for a bit we returned by the same trail back to the lodge below. The whole thing took just over 3 hours – perfect for a casual Sunday afternoon.
|She just turned 53 – get it?|
|The view from the ledge, facing south.|
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