“Make a unique and scenic loop to the summits of two mountains on this stunning trail.”
— Tom Robson
Welch Mountain is a prominent rocky peak that forms the western wall of the narrow gateway to Waterville Valley through which the Mad River flows. A short distance to the northwest is the exposed summit of Dickey Mountain. There are many outstanding views of the surrounding countryside that can be seen from open ledges and rock outcrops along the Welch-Dickey Mountain Trail.
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views
Need to Know
CAUTION: In wet weather, the exposed bare rock may be slippery. Be aware of jagged drop offs.
The Welch/Dickey Mountain Trail bears right after leaving the parking area and then crosses a brook. It climbs gradually through a mixed stand of birches, beech and maple, following back to reach the southern ridge of Welch Mountain. Here the trail passes through a stand conifers before coming out onto a broad exposed ledge (1.3 miles).
From here, the trail scampers up the ridge to the summit of Welch Mountain. Stop on this rock outcropping and take in the views, or simply push on to your next objective, Dickey Mountain. From the Dickey Mountain summit you'll turn south and head down the other side of the drainage back to the parking area.
Although not as steep as your ascent pitch, this descent is nothing to trifle with. Take it slow and be very wary of wet surfaces.
Flora & Fauna
At one time this area was covered with red oak, red spruce and scattered white pine but fire ravaged the area in the 1880's. Welch and Dickey Mountains are susceptible to lightning strikes, which can result in fire. Today, jack pine (a pioneer species) is present, but declining. Jack pine is primarily a fire-dependent species.
The cones are serotinous which means they require heat to open and release seeds; temperatures of at least 160° F are required. Welch Mountain is one of five places in New Hampshire that jack pine survives. Other places include Lake Umbagog, Mount Chocorua, Webster Cliff and Sandwich Dome. Welch Mountain and Sandwich Dome is the southern most tip of this species range.