Kedron Flume is one of several picturesque hikes in Crawford Notch which sports some of the nicest waterfall hikes in the White Mountains. Located adjacent to the Willey House Historic Site, the Kedron Flume Trail is a short but steep climb up to a small waterfall, located along the side wall of Crawford Notch. The trail also links the Willey House Site with the Appalachian Trail, providing thru-hikers with a quick source of snacks and ice cream, before they cross Rt 302 at the base of Crawford Notch and begin climbing Mt Webster at the southern end of the Presidential Range.
Leaving the Willey House, the blue-blazed trail climbs up to the passenger railroad grade that runs through scenic Crawford Notch. This is an active rail line, so care should be taken when crossing the tracks.
Once past the tracks, the trail continues to climb steeply. Care should be taken to follow the blazes because there are a few switchbacks and it’s easy to miss a turn and follow a side path. I managed to do this….because I was following the beaten down tread and not looking up to see the signs and arrows nailed to trees.
When you reach the flume, you want to be careful crossing it if you want to continue to the Ethan Pond trail junction, which is the Appalachian Trail. While the waterfall doesn’t drop vertically off the cliff (you’re at the top) the drop is sufficiently steep that you want to avoid getting close to the edge. Be very careful if you hike this route when it’s cold out, because it is very slippery when wet or icy.
It’s a short distance to the AT once you cross over the flume trail, but a steep scramble nevertheless. This area suffered extensive erosion from Hurricane Irene and trail repairs are still ongoing so expect mud on this section of the trail (above the waterfall) in damp weather. It’s definitely worth climbing the short segment to the AT, especially if you want to hike a short section of the trail on the way to the AMC Zealand Hut.
Round trip distance of 3.2 miles with 1100 feet of elevation gain.
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