Mount Willard is one of the most rewarding short and easy hikes in NH. With only a gradual 1.6 miles to the cliff view of Crawford Notch, it is a prime destination for inexperienced, new, or even seasoned hikers.
Distance: 3.2 miles (5 km)
Duration: 1-2 hours
Elevation Gain: 908 Feet (277 meters)
Height: 2,865 feet (873 meters)
Pets Allowed? Yes
Mount Willard Trail – 3.2 miles round trip – 908 feet of elevation gain
The mount Willard Trail can be accessed from the parking lot next to the AMC Highland center in Crawford Notch. There are numerous parking areas within eye shot of the trailhead. The easiest parking area is at the train station, and the trailhead is right across the train tracks from there (see directions below). The trail is gradual almost the entire way, making it an easy day hike for even inexperienced hikers. Crawford Notch is off of Route 302.
During heavy rain, snowmelt, or other high water times, a river crossing early in the hike can become difficult to navigate without getting wet boots.
The trail features a small brook, is well traveled, and is also not bad for travel in the winter months.
Mount Willard Hiking Map
Hiking Mount Willard in Winter
Willard is one of the best easy winter hikes in the state. The short distance, lower elevation, and lack of many steep sections make it quite a safe winter hike. The views in the winter are stunningly different than the summer and fall. For anyone looking to get into winter hiking, this is a great starter mountain. It is still well traveled in winter as well. This made out list of best winter hikes in NH.
We highly recommend utilizing microspikes for traction as it can get slippery with snow and ice.
Willard in the Fall
If you are looking for a great place to see the foliage, this is one of the best. The trees in Crawford Notch below the cliffs of Willard get incredible colors. Combined with the valley views, it makes for a great family fall hike as well. This will be a very busy hike during peak foliage.
Willard is located of Route 302 in Crawford Notch. Parking is at the Crawford Notch Station, which can be navigated to by most devices. 302 can be accessed by both I 93 and Route 16. You will also see extra parking along Saco Lake.
Bigger Hikes in Crawford Notch
Mount Willey – A 4000 footer that can be accessed from trailheads in Crawford Notch
Mount Tom – Another 4000 footer located nearby.
Mount Field – 4000 footer often hiked in conjunction with Mount Tom
Mount Jackson and Mount Webster – Jackson and Webster are located on the North side of Crawford Notch and can be accessed from the Highland Center.
Mount Crawford – on the 52 WAV list, this is a must do hike with incredible views.
Both Arethusa and Ripley are short waterfall hikes in Crawford Notch. They are extremely beautiful and accessible by all hiking levels.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about