I had been avoiding the popular short hikes in the Whites because I anticipated hiking a trampled trail and seeing nothing but the backs of other hikers. Tyson convinced me to try Welch-Dickey.
The Welch Dickey loop turned out to be very pleasant. And the light rain in southern NH kept most of the crowds away. I enjoyed the wide open granite slabs with views in all directions, and the occasional rock scrambling.
The lady slippers were blooming most of the way up. Tyson livened up the viewless first mile by encouraging Isaac to balance across downed trees on the trail. Then Isaac detoured us to the stream to look for frogs. We didn’t find any. Instead, we found fun cascades, a giant rock covered in giant lichen, and black flies. Isaac eventually fell in, bobbing at the end of a pine bow. We had enough spare socks for the rest of the hike.
We stopped for first lunch at 1.3 miles. Here the trail breaks out on a lawn of granite with a good view south to the Sandwich range. After this lunch stop, the trail changed from a mellow walk in the woods to open granite slabs and occasional rock scrambling, even a narrow crack between two rocks.
We sang creative variations on row, row, row your boat. My best one was “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, if you pick strawberries, don’t forget the cream.” I ran out of inspiration and resorted to “Row, row, row your boat gently down the creak, if you try to rhyme, make sure it is unique.” as we neared the top
Shortly thereafter, we stuck our noses over the rock lumps of Welch Mountain and spotted some unidentified purple flowers. Welch Mountain had the best views of the hike. We could see in all directions. Two crows canvased the peak looking for snacks. We figured they would inspect our spot as soon as we left.
From Welch Mtn., it’s a steep descent to a saddle and then back up to Dickey. The saddle is north facing. The predominant trees growing in the shade were dark conifers. Spring was a couple weeks behind here. The trillium were still blooming.
Dickey had a round top summit with too many trees for a good view. North of the summit proper is a granite overlook, but we missed the unmarked spur trail.
On the way down, we followed ponds of granite slab interspersed with oak and hemlock forests. Isaac ran ahead playing tag-the-blazes. Tyson and I tagged the faint blazes Isaac didn’t see. And I accumulated lots of blazes whenever Isaac missed a turn in the trail. I think he still tagged more than us in the end.
Welch-Dickey is on the 52 with a view list. We are thinking of trying more hikes on that list.