Welch and Dickey Loop Trail

HARD 716 reviews

Welch and Dickey Loop Trail is a 4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Thornton, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,751 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

snow

Directions from Intersection of SRs 175 & 49, NH: Travel east on SR 49 about 4.5 miles and turn left on Upper Mad River Road. Travel a short distance and turn right onto Orris Road. Follow Orris Road for .6 mile taking a right at the fork into a small parking lot. Trail begins there.

hiking
18 days ago

Did this with a summer camp. Really fun, not challenging. There is a cliff at one point but you don't have to go near the edge. Steep rock face to climb but I was fine in hiking boots. Took five hours with slow frequently stopping camp group. Would probably take four hours with a frequently stopping but well paced group. (done somepoint in July)

24 days ago

I’ve done this hike a few times. Gone with kids ages 8 and up during May in New England. May flies prohibit a great hike during this month as they’re everywhere.

The trail however is an incredible family adventure with challenges up a somewhat flat and steep incline. Slow and steady and the kids find the challenges once traversed as monumental achievements.

Beautiful scenery and skyline views and surprisingly little traffic.

Makes for a full day adventure where you can stop numerous times for water, potty, feeding breaks.

I suggest plenty of water and healthy snacks in a medium travel pack. The more people the merrier this will be in your group.

1 month ago

I love the challenge. going up was a challenge but going down was rough. the hardest part was the rock climbing. be prepared to climb up that mountain with all your limbs, otherwise you'll have to turn back and not able to make the loop. be sure to have good shoes or hiking boots on during the autumn season because the leaves may be a bit slippery.

hiking
1 month ago

Views for days! This took us about 6 hours because we kept stopping to appreciate where we were - a new favorite!

1 month ago

Great hike! The views are beautiful due to the 360 degrees. The day we hiked it was a bit slippery so hiking boots were necessary due to extremely large boulders/earth. We got lost a few times due to unclear trail heads. Overall fun day in the woods!

hiking
1 month ago

If you enjoy rocky climbs this is without a doubt, one of the best hikes around. Not that difficult, and great views. Easily one of my favorites.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views! One of my favorite hikes!

hiking
1 month ago

Our group of 4 (young adults) completed the 4.4 mile trail in around 3.5 hours.. stopping only for a few spectacular views! It was snowing on the ascent, so the slippery rock slowed us down considerably. We had a great time!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this with our 7 and 4 year old boys today! Far more challenging than we anticipated with the rock climbs but the boys did great and the views were amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful loop hike where much of the trail is on bald faced rock. I’ve done this twice: summer & fall (today), and it was equally spectacular each day. Hike the loop counterclockwise as there’s much more rock face to navigate on the back end, and doing that on the decent is just safer. After only 1 mi of hiking, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Whites. This hike is also closer to 5 miles, based on my technology. The yellow blazes are faded here and there. But, you’ll find them, no worries. Enjoy it!! It’s quite memorable.

2 months ago

My husband and I hiked this today. Took us exactly 3 hours. It rained on and off and even snowed when we got to the top. It was a slippery hike, but we made it! Definitely recommend this hike (especially on a drier day)!

hiking
2 months ago

Day started with trepidation. We arrived on the scene - will it rain? Will it not? We don’t know! We’ll find out... we prepare for the worst and decide to leave the rain jackets behind. We embark.

The trees drip with condensation, yet we are not perturbed. Splashes of green and yellow fill the palette that is our world. The brooding skies threatened to soak us to the bone. Yet, we persisted, and were rewarded with a vast expanse of fruit loop vistas.

Blue skies beckon us to the summit, where we snack on a mediocre clementine. Onward still the yellow trees led us to the precipice of the valley below. We drank in views of the forest ablaze with color.

Over the horizon, the storm approaches. There’s only one thing to do: eat our sandwiches from Cafe Rustico (delicious).

We press on stay ahead of the threatening skies. What’s that in the distance? The parking lot - we’ve arrived! A celebration ensues by finishing the second half of our sandwiches from Cafe Rustico (also delicious).

In summary, great hike. Slippery rock, but manageable. Colorful leaves, bring a sweatshirt.

2 months ago

foliage over Columbus day weekend did not disappoint! it varies throughout the whole 360 degree hike but there were definately breathtaking moments seeing the peak fruit loop foliage part of nh overlayed with moderate foliage in the foreground. don't turn back after the first viewpoint! go to the peak and go down mt dickey... you'll be surprised! we went on a slightly wet day but with shoes and lay low climbing those Rock slabs.. you'll be fine.

2 months ago

Beautiful foliage today! Harder to find some of the yellow blazes because of the yellow leaves and some leaves on the trail. About 2 hours (hiking only, extra time to enjoy the views) to do the loop, counterclockwise. Bring an extra layer if you plan to take in the views and foliage! It was windy at the top!

hiking
2 months ago

Took about just under two hours to do the whole loop not including stopping time at the peaks. Pretty quick pace both up and down. Very steep on flat rock towards the top but the views are beyond worth it. Overall moderate challenge and great hike for not being in the notch.

2 months ago

Beautiful foliage and view. Lots of large boulders, difficult when wet, wish the view was better as it was very cloudy when we went up. Overall, not too strenuous! Would definitely like to see it with the full 360 view at the top!

2 months ago

great trail, would not recommend with dogs off leash or kids in hiking packs.

hiking
2 months ago

A pretty quick hike with some really stunning views on the way up and down. Highly recommend going up to the right to Welch first; there are some steep rocks to climb that would be challenging going down. Highly recommend going in the fall as the foliage is incredible, but be careful if it’s recently rained. It’s a very very popular hike, and for good reason. $5 fee if parking in the lot.

2 months ago

An absolute must do! Not that hard. Gets steep on the way up, but way down is easier. Hits two peaks and had amazing views throughout most of the hike. Took about 3.5 hours (I’m in good shape).

hiking
2 months ago

What I liked most about the Welch/Dickey Loop was the quick payoff. After 20 minutes of hiking (if you head counter clockwise out of the parking area) you get awesome views from a large open area. The views stay with you for a huge section of the hike and now (October), with the leaves turning, the descent through the woods is extra nice.
Get there early! At 9a.m. there was still parking in the lot, but by the time we finished at noon people had to park a half mile from the lot.

2 months ago

Clearly out of shape since I had my twins 1.5 years ago but still managed 2h 20 minutes on this one with about 30 minutes of breaks as the way up is rather tough. With the sun out it was pretty hot but at the top the breeze is really cold so make sure to have appropriate layers of clothing. Couple fellows ran around there in an armless T-shirt trying to look cool except the shivering didn’t help with that. Counterclockwise is the way to go to avoid having to slide down bare rock surfaces on your butt while looking down a cliff. The way down from first peak has a spot where folks who are afraid of heights will get a bit of a knees-weak moment but it’s really only that one rock ledge with sharp drop off without any trees that’s a bit scary, afterwards the hike is pretty easy and less exhausting the way up to second peak and then down the ridge. Plenty of bare rock surface that is slippery even when dry. Not suitable with sneakers and definitely not a good hike when there was even light rain.

2 months ago

has a little bit of almost everything youre looking for...forest, views, rock scramble, great spots to rest and have lunch. time ranges from 2 hrs (under 2 without stopping) to 5 hrs depending if you pace yourself and rest.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, slightly more difficult than I thought, but the views are amazing. Well with the hike. It will take about 4 hours to finish the loop, it does require some climbing and includes steep rocky sections. Overall, I recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

Wow!! Highly recommended!! You should know a few things before tackling this one...

1.) the Loop is 4.4 miles. It took us 5 hours with stopping several times and eating lunch at one of the peaks.

2.) this was moderate and sometimes difficult; scaling rocks, climbing down steep ledges, very steep inclines

3.) gorgeous, breathtaking views almost the entire loop

4.) not for those who are afraid of heights or afraid or unable to climb up or down steep inclines. The way down Welch can be difficult on the knees.

5.) START AT DICKEY and end with Welch. Go to the right at the trailhead sign, not straight, and that will bring you to Dickey Mountain first which is essentially going counterclockwise. This recommendation was included in someone’s review on AllTrails and it was a great suggestion!! The other way could be dangerous.

hiking
2 months ago

perfectly moderate with a few rock scrambles - ~3 hours
go counter-clockwise to avoid steep descents on rock faces.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views for a good portion of the trail. Compared to most trails in New England, this trail offers a longer section out of the forest with good views. We hiked on Labour Day weekend, and the trail was packed.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Got to the trailhead at 9am - it wasn't too busy, but I still had company on the trail the whole time. Made for great conversation. Views were amazing. Went counterclockwise, as others recommended.

You do have to pay $5 for parking at the trailhead. There may or may not be trail stewards present, but they don't have a cash box, so be sure to have money ready.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was really beautiful. We stopped many times to admire the surroundings. I see what people mean by starting counter clockwise. There was a lot of climbing smooth, steep rock that would have been very scary going down on. It did start raining while we were coming down. This made things slippery, so use caution if you’re ascending in these conditions. We didn’t have much of a view because it was so foggy but will definitely have to try this again on a clear day.

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent loop hike, but heed all the warnings regarding going counterclockwise, and do not go at all if it is wet. The views are excellent- I especially like looking back at Welsh to see what you accomplished.

hiking
3 months ago

Serious bang for your buck on this one. It's difficult for a "moderate" hike - don't underestimate, and listen when they say to go counterclockwise (take a right at the first fork), and you'll be fine. Took a little under 4 hours and we stopped to admire the views quite a few times, and for a while. We got there a little after 08:00 and had the mountain pretty much to ourselves.

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