Because of how they are situated within Crawford Notch, it is difficult to find a spot where you can get a side-by-side view of Flume Cascade and Silver Cascade, and where you can see nearly the full extent of these cascades from top to bottom. There are a couple of locations on the east side of Mt. Willard where such views are possible, although the vistas are partially obstructed by tree branches.
This mini-adventure is presented more for general interest than anything else. It would be unkind to recommend this trek to anyone other than those who are completely comfortable with traveling off the established hiking trails.
The first of two locations that I visited was a rather quirky spot in the woods about 350 ft. east of the Mt. Willard Trail (about 0.3 mile before the trail ends). Although the distance was short, it was a tedious and moderately intense bushwhack through thick conifers.
The second location was reached by taking the abandoned Hitchcock Flume Spur Trail, which branches off the east side of Mt. Willard Trail (about 0.1 mile before the trail ends). The spur trail is rough (about one-step above a bushwhack), and steep (about 250 ft. elevation loss over a distance of about 0.15 mile). Anyone hiking this spur trail should use extreme caution since there is a very dangerous drop-off near the end. Also, just the same as with bushwhacking, eye-protection would be a good idea.
The two locations mentioned above are shown on the map presented below.
Although this trek began with partly sunny conditions, it deteriorated
rapidly to a dreary day with on/off showers and drizzle. The weather conditions combined with
tree-obstructed views resulted in some rather lackluster photos. Nonetheless, shown below are 4 snapshots
taken from the spots identified as
"Location 1" and "Location 2" on the map presented above.
|Map showing two locations where photos were taken (CLICK TO ENLARGE)|
|Location 1: Flume and Silver Cascade (lower left): Mts. Jackson & Webster on horizon|
|Location 1: Zoomed View of Flume and Silver Cascade|
|Location 2: Flume and Silver Cascade (viewed from Hitchcock Flume Spur Trail)|
|Location 2: Crawford Notch (viewed from Hitchcock Flume Spur Trail)|
To sum it up, despite the weather, which deteriorated from decent to dreary, this mini-adventure was still a lot of fun, and it provided some unique views.