About This Location
Nestled in the heart of Carroll County, New Hampshire, Mount Willard stands proudly at 2,865 feet, offering a captivating gateway to nature's splendor. Located in the town of Hart's Location within Crawford Notch State Park, Mount Willard is a cherished member of the Willey Range, gracing visitors with its pristine summit and breathtaking views.
The allure of Mount Willard lies not only in its elevation but in the panoramic spectacle it unfolds. The summit, with a clean prominence of 265 feet, serves as a natural observatory, treating onlookers to sweeping vistas of the notch and distant mountain ranges. Casting your gaze southward, the enchanting sight of NH Route 302 meandering through the notch unfolds, creating an iconic and cherished view beloved by both locals and tourists. If fortune favors you, the distant rumble and sight of the Mountaineer Train along the Maine Central Railroad tracks may add a touch of nostalgia to the experience. Such remarkable views have rightfully earned Mount Willard a spot on the esteemed list of "New Hampshire 52 with a View," celebrating the most scenic perspectives from the state's mountain peaks.
Mount Willard is a year-round haven for nature enthusiasts, drawing its peak attention during the fall foliage season when the White Mountains adorn themselves in the vibrant hues of autumn. Crawford Notch, with its rich palette of colors, becomes a favorite among leaf peepers, offering an immersive experience in nature's grandeur.
Embarking on the adventure to Mount Willard is best accomplished through the Mount Willard Trail, a 3.1-mile round-trip journey that unfolds with a moderate ascent of 900 feet. Marked by its easy-to-follow path and well-maintained conditions, the trail welcomes hikers of various skill levels. With an average completion time of around 2 hours, it caters to both seasoned trekkers and families seeking a memorable outing. This area is a haven for birding, hiking, and snowshoeing, ensuring encounters with fellow nature enthusiasts.
The optimal seasons to tread the Mount Willard Trail stretch from May to October, promising a diverse display of seasonal beauty. Welcoming canine companions, the trail allows dogs, and in certain sections, they may roam off-leash. Whether you're basking in the vibrant blooms of spring or reveling in the autumnal symphony, Mount Willard promises an unforgettable experience.
Parking proves convenient, with several options near the Mount Willard Trailhead along Crawford Notch Road. The Crawford Notch Depot stands out as the preferred parking spot, offering a few dozen spaces. Additional parking can be found around Saco Lake and the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch, ensuring that accessibility adds to the allure of this cherished natural gem. Be aware that some of these parking options may have a small $5 fee.