Welch-Dickey Loop & Fletcher Cascades
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
With the impending cloud cover, I had chosen Tecumseh via Tripoli Road for today’s hike. I didn’t love the idea, especially because my partner for the day doesn’t have the opportunity to get out a lot and I was hoping for something more exciting, but it is a good summit for a cloudy day.
By the time we were passing exit eighteen, I was feeling that the forecast wasn’t quite right. The skies were at least half clear and the chance of rain was diminishing enough that I pulled out the backup to the backup: Welch-Dickey Loop.
Somehow, I had never done this loop but I was a really big fan of it. The parking lot had plenty of parking and cost $5 if you don’t have a White Mountain Pass. We went counterclockwise and started up a wide lightly rooted trail for a mile before approaching the ledges. I can see how this would be a disaster after rain or with young kids, but we didn’t have any trouble on any of the potentially tricky sections because they were all very dry after a week of no precipitation.
I enjoyed the rare opportunity to have views for a good 2/3 of the hike, something I don’t normally run into in the White Mountains. We got up to Welch Mountain in an hour and we stopped for a bug attack/snack on the summit of Dickey afterward. Looking directly across to Sandwich, my original plan for the day had it been clear, I was amazed by how much we could see off of a 2000-footer! After our break, the descent was quick and pleasant and left me thankful we had done the hike in the direction we did.
There were a handful more cars in the parking lot when we got back around 10 am, but still no more than ten of them. Having finished so early, we weren’t ready to go home yet so I added on Fletcher Cascades for a quick little trace. Due to the lack of rain lately, the cascades weren’t running full but what we saw was very cool! There were several tiers to the waterfall and after the stair-like one, we ascended a steep and eroded section of trail to the top wall of the cascades which we found especially awesome. The trail itself wasn’t bad at all up until the actual cascades where the trail gained very quickly. Otherwise, it was a lovely untouched wilderness trail, and I recommend it as a quick add-on after a hike in the area!