Crawfords Path In New Hampshire

Here is everything you need to know about the Crawfords Path:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: New Hampshire
  • Length: 2.9 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: White Mountain National Forest
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

Crawford’s Path, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, holds a significant place in the region’s history. The path was named after Abel Crawford, a prominent figure in the early 19th century who played a crucial role in the development of the area. Abel Crawford, along with his wife Hannah, settled in the White Mountains in the late 1700s and became renowned for their hospitality and guiding services.

In the early 1800s, Abel Crawford recognized the potential for tourism in the White Mountains and began constructing a path to Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. This path, known as Crawford’s Path, was initially a rough trail that allowed visitors to access the summit of Mount Washington. Abel Crawford’s efforts were instrumental in promoting the region as a tourist destination, attracting nature enthusiasts, artists, and scientists.

Over time, Crawford’s Path underwent several improvements and expansions. In the mid-19th century, the path was widened and made more accessible, allowing for increased traffic and tourism. The path became a popular route for hikers and mountaineers, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. It also served as a vital transportation route for supplies and mail to the Mount Washington Summit House, a famous hotel that was built in 1852.

Crawford’s Path continued to evolve throughout the 20th century, with further improvements and maintenance efforts. Today, it remains a popular hiking trail, attracting outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. The path stands as a testament to the early pioneers like Abel Crawford, who recognized the beauty and potential of the White Mountains and played a crucial role in shaping the region’s history and tourism industry.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Crawford Depot: This is the starting point of Crawford Path and is located near the Crawford Notch State Park in New Hampshire.

2. Crawford Connector Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Crawford Depot and provides access to Crawford Path.

3. Mount Pierce Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Crawford Depot and offers access to Crawford Path as well as Mount Pierce.

4. Mount Eisenhower Trailhead: Located near the Crawford Depot, this trailhead provides access to Crawford Path and Mount Eisenhower.

5. Mount Monroe Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Crawford Depot and offers access to Crawford Path as well as Mount Monroe.

6. Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead: Located near the Crawford Depot, this trailhead provides access to Crawford Path and the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.

7. Mount Washington Summit: Crawford Path ends at the summit of Mount Washington, which is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. The summit can be accessed from various trails, including Crawford Path.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Crawford Path. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the path as well.

Transportation Available

1. Crawfords Path Bus Service – Local bus service operating along Crawfords Path.
2. Crawfords Path Taxi – Taxi service available for convenient transportation in the area.
3. Crawfords Path Bike Rentals – Bike rental service offering a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Crawfords Path.
4. Crawfords Path Car Rentals – Car rental service providing flexible transportation options for visitors.
5. Crawfords Path Shuttle – Shuttle service offering convenient transportation to various destinations around Crawfords Path.
6. Crawfords Path Rideshare – Ridesharing service connecting passengers with local drivers for convenient travel.
7. Crawfords Path Pedicabs – Pedicab service offering a unique and leisurely way to get around Crawfords Path.
8. Crawfords Path Scooter Rentals – Scooter rental service providing a fun and efficient mode of transportation in the area.
9. Crawfords Path Water Taxi – Water taxi service offering scenic transportation along nearby waterways.
10. Crawfords Path Limousine Service – Luxury limousine service providing stylish and comfortable transportation options.


At the Crawfords Path, the following amenities are available:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available for visitors to use.

2. Parking: There is a designated parking area for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: There are camping sites available for those who wish to stay overnight. These sites may have facilities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas where visitors can enjoy their meals and relax.

5. Hiking Trails: Crawfords Path offers various hiking trails for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings.

6. Scenic Views: The path provides scenic views of the surrounding landscape, including mountains, forests, and rivers.

7. Information Center: There may be an information center or visitor center where visitors can obtain maps, brochures, and information about the area.

8. Wildlife Viewing: The path may offer opportunities for wildlife viewing, allowing visitors to observe and appreciate the local fauna.

9. Interpretive Signs: There may be interpretive signs along the path, providing information about the history, geology, and ecology of the area.

10. Accessibility: The path may have accessibility features, such as wheelchair ramps or paved paths, to accommodate visitors with disabilities.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with the specific location or park management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Crawford Notch Campground – Campground offering tent and RV sites, located near Crawford Path for outdoor enthusiasts.
2. Highland Center at Crawford Notch – Lodging facility with rooms, dining, and educational programs, conveniently situated near Crawford Path.
3. AMC Crawford Notch Visitor Center – Visitor center providing information on the area, including Crawford Path, and offering limited emergency services.
4. Crawford Notch General Store – Quaint store offering groceries, snacks, and basic supplies near Crawford Path.
5. AMC Highland Center Dining Room – On-site restaurant at Highland Center, serving meals for guests and visitors near Crawford Path.
6. AMC Crawford Notch Hut – Mountain hut providing overnight accommodations and meals for hikers along Crawford Path.
7. AMC Zealand Falls Hut – Remote mountain hut offering lodging and meals for hikers, located near Crawford Path.
8. Crawford Notch State Park – State park with camping, hiking trails, and picnic areas, adjacent to Crawford Path.
9. AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center – Visitor center with information, emergency services, and amenities, a short distance from Crawford Path.
10. AMC Joe Dodge Lodge – Lodge offering accommodations, dining, and outdoor activities, situated near Crawford Path.

Crawfords Path Difficulty Notes

Crawford’s Path, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is known for its challenging terrain and steep elevation gain. The path starts at the Crawford Notch and ascends to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Hikers must navigate through rocky sections, exposed ridges, and potentially treacherous weather conditions, making it a difficult and demanding trail. The path requires a high level of physical fitness, experience in mountain hiking, and proper gear to tackle its steep inclines and unpredictable elements. Despite its difficulty, the stunning views and sense of accomplishment make Crawford’s Path a popular choice for experienced hikers seeking a challenging adventure.

Features And Attractions

1. Mount Washington: Crawfords Path starts at the base of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. The view from the summit offers breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding White Mountains.

2. Tuckerman Ravine: Located on the eastern side of Mount Washington, Tuckerman Ravine is a glacial cirque known for its steep slopes and challenging skiing terrain. It is a popular spot for hikers and climbers.

3. Crawford Notch State Park: As you traverse Crawfords Path, you will pass through Crawford Notch State Park. This scenic area is characterized by towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and the picturesque Saco River.

4. Arethusa Falls: One of the most stunning waterfalls in New Hampshire, Arethusa Falls is a must-visit natural landmark along Crawfords Path. With a height of 160 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in the state.

5. Frankenstein Cliffs: These impressive cliffs are named after the famous novel by Mary Shelley. They offer stunning views of the surrounding forest and are a popular spot for rock climbing and hiking.

6. Mount Willard: A moderate hike off Crawfords Path will take you to the summit of Mount Willard. From there, you can enjoy panoramic views of Crawford Notch and the surrounding mountains.

7. Silver Cascade Falls: This beautiful waterfall is easily accessible from Crawfords Path. It cascades down a series of granite ledges, creating a picturesque scene.

8. Elephant’s Head: A unique rock formation resembling an elephant’s head can be found along Crawfords Path. It offers a great photo opportunity and is a popular spot for hikers to take a break.

9. Gibbs Falls: Located near the southern end of Crawfords Path, Gibbs Falls is a hidden gem. This secluded waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere.

10. Mount Avalon: Another peak that can be reached via a side trail from Crawfords Path is Mount Avalon. From the summit, you can enjoy stunning views of Crawford Notch and the surrounding mountains.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you can explore along Crawfords Path. The area is rich in beauty and offers a variety of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets are allowed on the Crawfords Path but must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Camping is not permitted along the trail.
– Open fires are strictly prohibited.
– Hiking is allowed year-round, but certain sections of the trail may be closed during winter months due to hazardous conditions.
– Leave no trace: Visitors are expected to pack out all trash and leave the trail and surrounding areas clean.
– Hunting and fishing are not allowed on the Crawfords Path.
– Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
– Overnight stays are not allowed on the trail; hikers must plan accordingly and find accommodations off the trail.
– Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed any animals encountered on the trail.
– Stay on designated paths and do not venture off-trail to protect the natural environment.

Seasonal Information

Crawford Path, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is a popular hiking trail that offers stunning views and a challenging adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit Crawford Path largely depend on your preferences and the activities you wish to engage in.

During the summer months, from June to August, Crawford Path experiences pleasant weather with average temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C). This is the peak season for hiking, as the trail is usually clear of snow and ice, making it more accessible for hikers of all skill levels. The summer months also offer longer daylight hours, allowing visitors to spend more time exploring the trail and enjoying the breathtaking vistas.

In the fall, from September to October, Crawford Path transforms into a picturesque landscape as the foliage changes colors. The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow create a stunning backdrop for hikers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts. However, it’s important to note that the weather can be unpredictable during this time, with cooler temperatures and occasional rain showers. It is advisable to check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing and gear.

It’s worth mentioning that Crawford Path experiences seasonal closures during the winter months, typically from November to May. The trail becomes covered in snow and ice, making it extremely challenging and dangerous for hikers without proper equipment and experience. However, for those with mountaineering skills and winter hiking gear, this period offers a unique opportunity to explore the trail in its snow-covered beauty. It is crucial to check weather conditions, avalanche risks, and trail conditions before attempting a winter hike on Crawford Path.

In conclusion, the best times to visit Crawford Path are during the summer and fall seasons when the trail is accessible and the weather is generally favorable. However, each season offers its own unique charm and experiences. It is important to plan accordingly, check weather conditions, and be prepared for any seasonal closures or challenges that may arise.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Path: Crawfords Path offers a wheelchair accessible route, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to navigate the trail comfortably.
2. Smooth Surface: The path is constructed with a smooth surface, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience for wheelchair users.
3. Wide Pathway: Crawfords Path features a wide pathway, providing ample space for wheelchair users to maneuver easily.
4. Gradual Slopes: The trail incorporates gradual slopes, allowing wheelchair users to navigate inclines and declines with ease.
5. Handrails: Handrails are installed along certain sections of the path, providing additional support and stability for individuals with mobility impairments.
6. Rest Areas: The trail includes designated rest areas with benches, allowing wheelchair users to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
7. Accessible Parking: The trailhead offers accessible parking spaces, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
8. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are available near the trailhead, providing facilities that meet ADA standards.
9. Signage: The path features clear and visible signage, including accessible symbols, to guide wheelchair users and individuals with disabilities.
10. Assistance Animals: Crawfords Path welcomes assistance animals, allowing individuals with disabilities to have their service animals accompany them on the trail.

Safety Information

1. Proper Gear: Wear appropriate hiking boots, carry a map, compass, and a first aid kit, and dress in layers for changing weather conditions.
2. Weather Awareness: Check the forecast before starting and be prepared for sudden changes in weather, including strong winds, rain, or snow.
3. Trail Conditions: Be cautious of slippery rocks, loose gravel, and steep sections along the trail.
4. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition as the trail involves steep ascents and descents.
5. Water and Food: Carry an adequate supply of water and high-energy snacks to stay hydrated and fueled during the hike.
6. Wildlife Encounter: Be aware of potential encounters with wildlife, including bears, and follow proper safety protocols if encountered.
7. Leave No Trace: Practice responsible hiking by packing out all trash, staying on the designated trail, and respecting the natural environment.
8. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety and assistance if needed.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Familiarize yourself with the trail route, inform someone of your plans, and carry a whistle or signaling device in case of emergencies.
10. Time Management: Start early to allow ample time for the hike, considering daylight hours and potential delays along the trail.

Conservation Notes

Crawford’s Path, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, holds significant conservation value due to its unique ecological features and historical significance. As one of the oldest continuously used hiking trails in the United States, it has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The conservation status of Crawford’s Path is of utmost importance to preserve its natural and cultural heritage.

From a conservation standpoint, Crawford’s Path traverses through diverse ecosystems, including alpine meadows, subalpine forests, and montane spruce-fir forests. These habitats support a variety of plant and animal species, some of which are rare and endangered. The path provides critical connectivity between different protected areas, allowing for the movement of wildlife and the maintenance of genetic diversity.

Efforts have been made to protect and maintain the ecological integrity of Crawford’s Path. The trail is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and various conservation organizations, which work together to ensure its sustainability. Measures such as trail maintenance, erosion control, and invasive species management are implemented to minimize human impact and preserve the natural character of the path.

Despite these conservation efforts, Crawford’s Path faces challenges such as increased visitor use, climate change, and the potential introduction of non-native species. These factors can disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem and threaten the long-term conservation of the trail. Continued monitoring, research, and adaptive management strategies are necessary to mitigate these threats and ensure the preservation of Crawford’s Path for future generations.

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