Mt. Willard: Maximum Ratio of Effort to Pay Off In the White Mountains

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.

Mom summitting!

She just turned 53 – get it?

The view from the ledge, facing south.

Gear List (click links for more product info):

Merrell Chameleon3 Ventilator GTX Hiking Shoe - Men's Gunsmoke, 8.0Black Diamond Contour Elliptic Carbon Trekking Pole Ink Blue, One SizeBlack Diamond Traverse Ski Poles

One thought on “Mt. Willard: Maximum Ratio of Effort to Pay Off In the White Mountains

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *