|White Trilliums, a welcome sign of spring.|
As winter finally makes its exit from New Hamphsire, my next hiking blog is one of a trail that I have done in spring many times over the past 20 years. I will warn you, later in the spring is probably the most enjoyable time for this hike as the ground has mostly dried and the flying bugs haven’t yet become the bane of all who pass.
Starting from the large parking area on Route 25 in Glencliff, NH (8.5 miles east of the RT. 10/RT. 25 junction in Haverhill, NH) and heading south on the Appalachian Trail, the flat trail follows along the base of a small mountain (Wyatt Hill) for approximately ¼ mile before turning sharply right and climbing steeply and diagonally across the incline. Along this part of the path are a few rocky outposts that have limited wooded views of the area below and to the north. The steep climb is approximately ¾ of a mile, then the trail levels a bit. You will walk another 1/4 mile before reaching the height of the land, which is marked by a large, split rock. Here you begin a slow descent through the hardwoods towards Wauchipauka Pond. As you get lower in elevation and closer to the pond, Webster Cliff becomes visible, the path gets soggy, and the trail hugs the cliffs base staying above the sometimes murky and damp lowlands. This area is the reason I like to wait until the snow is mostly gone from the woods. At the base of the main cliff, a nearly hidden side trail veers off to the left of the trail and follows the ponds edge until coming to a wonderful camping spot on a prominent peninsula with fine views across the pond (really more of a lake in size). If you miss the side trail, bushwacking to that point is easy to do.
|Lady slippers on this trail are abundant.|
The Webster Cliff Trail (0.7 miles in all) is fairly rugged and quite steep for nearly a half mile, but has some really wonderful woodland flower beds and random wildflowers, along with some other friends that would probably rather stay invisible.
|Little froggie friend.|
More beautiful lady slippers.
The trail levels out and after a short flat walk through scrub, you emerge to a superb lookout to the south of Wauchipauka Pond, Warren, Wentworth and on to Mt. Carr in the distance.
|Looking down at the Wauchipauka Pond from Webster Cliff.|
Written by Brian Markee