Monday, September 18, 2017

Hiking Mount Avalon

The A-Z Trail (Avalon-Zealand) is part of the Appalachian Trail and leads up to several mountain summits, Avalon, and the 4,000-footers Mounts Tom, Field, Willey, and Zealand.  On June 8, 2017, my dog, Britt, and I hiked up to the summit of Mount Avalon, part of the Crawford Notch-Sandwich Range, to an elevation of 3,442 feet with a gain of 1,550 feet totaling 3.7 miles.  The day started out sunny and cool with temperatures around 65 and changed to cloudy with threat of rain midway through the hike.  It didn’t rain though and at the end of the downward hike, the cloudy sky returned to a glorious blue and sunny sky.

The trail began behind the AMC’s (Appalachian Mountain Club) Macomber Family Information Center (Crawford Depot) on Route 302.  Shortly after beginning on the trail, most people take the left turn to climb up Mount Willard that offers a great scenic overlook down Crawford Notch.  I proceeded straight on the A-Z trail.  

A few minutes later I crossed Crawford Brook continuing a little farther taking a side trail to Beecher and Pearl Cascades.  Beecher was named for “famous abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher, who spent many summers in the White Mountains in the latter part of the 1800’s, with his sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.’” 

The Avalon trail continued gradually up with a stream nearby on the left.  Later the trail passed along paper birches on the right that was the result of a fire or logging in the 19th century.  After 1.3 miles, the forest changed primarily to spruce-fir trees where I took the left junction for Mount Avalon.  

The trail ascended steeply over rocks for 0.5 miles and for 100 yards some scrambling was required to reach the narrow summit.  The views are of the glacially carved Crawford Notch valley and the mountains of the Willey Range.

Many hikers have stayed with us scaling the 4,000-footers or “52 With a View” that are not over 4-000 feet.  I have become addicted to hiking.  I like to share my adventures in the Whites on Our Blog where you can read about my accounts of them that began in 2016. 

If you want to explore the trails of the White Mountains, the AMC website offers guided hikes and you can purchase various guides and maps in the online store or on Amazon.  As a novice hiker, check out the website Hike Safe to be well prepared for your outdoor adventure in the mountains.

If you stay at The Buttonwood Inn, you have access to our hiking trails on Bartlett Mountain in Merriman State Forest and Mount Kearsarge North or Black Cap Mountain nearby.  Reserve online your next hiking adventure with us or call us 1-800-258-2625.

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