Date of Hike: Dec 28, 2014 (wow, it's been ages since I've posted one of my hikes)

Trail Conditions: The trail was certainly packed out, Willard sees lots of people (even those wearing dungarees), so it's no surprise. It was soft on the edges, though, and people were postholing from few inches to over a foot in places. One fellow was standing aside the trail almost up to his knees giving me an odd look as me and the group I was leading clip-clopped by in our snowshoes. There were many firs down higher up... looks like wind damage. Some is cleared, and the trail is passable (nothing stops a herd), but the maintainer should take a trip up with a saw at least to tend to the stuff that people are creating herd paths around.

Special Equipment Used: Snowshoes for easy footing and to protect the condition of the trail (it'll be a mess when it freezes anyway but every bit helps), and trekking poles for balance over the open crossings.

Comments: We were the ONLY group wearing snowshoes. The crossings were open, and some rocks did show themselves here and there, so there were tiny bits where it may have looked silly, but we were properly prepared in my opinion. Moreover, I was leading a group for my job at Northeast Mountaineering so I try to model what I feel is good behavior (plus, we always use our adventures as teaching opportunities to stress trail etiquette, LNT, etc.).

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
North Conway NH