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Mt Willey, Mt Field, Mt Tom
June 8, 2005

Route: Willey Station Road, Ethan Pond Trail, Willey Range Trail, Mt Tom Spur, A-Z Trail, Avalon Trail, Cascade Loop
Map: map.jpg (269323 bytes)
 
Elevation: Mt Willey 4285 ft
Mt Field 4340 ft
Mt Tom 4051 ft
Vertical Climb: 3968 ft
Distance: 8.8 miles
Who Went: Paul, Muffin

I was originally planning on climbing Mts Pierce and Eisenhower via the Crawford Path, but the weather forecast included afternoon thunderstorms, so I changed our plans to Mts Willey, Field, and Tom since they were pretty much wooded and out of the weather. As it turned out, there were actually some pretty nasty thunderstorms later in the afternoon, but that was after we were on our way home again.  These three peaks would bring Muffin's count up to 28 so that would leave her with only 20 more left.

As usual, we left home about 4:30 AM, arriving at the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch around 7:30. I decided to take the 8:00 AM AMC shuttle down the road to the Ethan Pond/Webster Cliff Trailheads, then hike back over the Willey Range to the Highland Center. Most of the time, the shuttle never runs where I need to go or when I need a ride, but this time, I got lucky.

After the shuttle driver dropped us off on Rt 302, we hiked up the paved Willey Station Road to the actual trailhead at a parking area at the road's end. The Ethan Pond Trail ascends gradually at first, shortly crossing the Conway Scenic Railroad tracks and, in another 2/10 of a mile, reaching the junction where the Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail branches left. We stopped here for a short break, mostly so I could put on some mosquito repellent. This didn't really please Muffin, who was anxious to get moving again. She hates to take too long of a break unless it involves food.

Along the way, I stopped to take a picture of some painted trilliums which grew in abundance along the trail here at lower elevations. The climb went quickly, and we soon passed the junction with the Kedron Flume Trail on the right, which drops steeply down toward the Willey House site and its gift shop/snack bar. Not far beyond, we arrived at the junction where the Willey Range Trail begins and the Ethan Pond trail veers left. We stopped for a short break just beyond the junction where Kedron Brooks flows across the trail. And, since I didn't expect to pass many (if any) more water sources for a while, I also filtered a couple of bottles of cold water.

Ethan Pond Trailhead. The trail begins at the Willey Station site, a short distance up a paved road from Rt 302.

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Railroad tracks. The trail crosses the Conway Scenic Railroad tracks shortly after leaving the trailhead.

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Muffin waiting to continue. If we take too long of a break, Muffin gets anxious to start moving again.

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Painted trillium. There were a lot of these flowers growing along the trail down low.

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Willey Trail junction. We stopped here for a short break. I also filtered a couple of bottles of water from Kedron Brook.

willey range trail sign.jpg (82010 bytes)

Map

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