Crawford Notch State Park

Quick Facts

Crawford Notch State Park

New Hampshire

(603) 374-2272

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

This 5,775-acre park provides access to numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, fishing, wildlife viewing, and spectacular mountain views. These six miles of unspoiled rugged natural beauty in a scenic mountain pass are idea for hiking, fishing, and photography. It is crossed by trails -- some lead to incomparable views of the Presidential Range. The Flume and Silver Cascades waterfalls are visible from the highway, while Arethusa Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in New Hampshire, can be reached by a short hike.

A plaque marks the site of Willey House, a stopover for wagons traveling in the late 1700's. Samuel Willey, his family, and two hired men lost their lives here in 1826 in a landslide. There are picnicking areas, parking for hiking, and scenic pull-offs. Dry River Campground offers 36 wooded sites, with flush toilets and showers. Leashed pets are permitted in the campground and at designated areas at the Willey House area.

The Willey House Snack Bar, Gift Shop, and Visitor Center are open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Map of Crawford Notch (NH)

Latitude, Longitude: 44.179496, -71.396713

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Activities

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Highway 302 runs through the park and offers fantastic views. The Flume and Silver Cascades waterfalls are both visible from the highway and the Willey House Historic Site is located along the road.

  • Camping

    Dry River Campground offers a woodland setting, located in the heart of Crawford Notch State Park. Flush toilets and showers are located in the campground. Pets are welcomed in the camping area, but must be leashed and attended at all times. Camping is available from early May through early December.

  • Fishing

    The scenic mountain pass is ideal for stream fishing.

  • Hiking

    Two short, easy walks begin across the road and bridge from the Willey House site. The Pond Loop Trail, half-mile round trip, bears to the left just beyond the bridge, leads through the woods to a viewpoint of the pond, and loops back to the bridge. The Sam Willey Trail, one-mile round-trip, bears to the right 30 yards beyond the bridge, follows the Saco River through the woods past several beaver dams, and loops back to the bridge.

    The Saco River Trail connects the Willey House site, Webster Cliff trail (AT), the Dry River Trail, and the Dry River Campground, with easy to moderate grades along the valley floor. Scenic river views and mountain vistas. The trail starts at the far end of the Sam Willey Trail, a half-mile to Webster Cliff Trail, 2 miles to the Dry River Trail, and 2.5 miles to Dry River Campground.

    Ripley Falls is a 100-foot high cascade where Avalanche Brook flows over moss-covered sloping granite, creating a cool, peaceful spot to relax after the .5-mile walk in. The falls are easy to find by following the Ripley Falls Trail, which diverges left from the Ethan Pond Trail shortly after it begins at the end of the access road, which leaves Route 302 one mile southeast of the Willey House site. Arethusa Falls, nearly 200 feet high, are the highest falls in the state and certainly worth a visit. The access road to the 1.4-mile trail leads off Route 302, ½ mile south of Dry River Campground. The first .6 mile is fairly rocky and moderately steep, while the latter half of the trail ascends through open hardwoods via a new relocation of the trail. Return via the same route or complete the 4-mile loop past Frankenstein Cliff to the start point. Falcon Cliff Trail is a short side trail that leaves the Frankenstein Cliff Trail about ¼-mile south of the summit, reaching Falcon Cliff after a 10-minute trek, providing scenic views from the cliff.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is available at the park. The Willey House snack bar offers refreshments and picnic tables.

Seasonality/Weather

Although day-use areas are open year-round, camping is only available from early-May through early-December.

Directions

Driving

From I-93, take Exit 36 onto Route 3 North. Follow Route 3 to Route 302 east. Follow signs to Crawford Notch State Park.

From I-95, take Route 16 north to Route 302 west. On 302 follow signs to Crawford Notch State Park.

Distances to the park from major cities are as follows: Concord, NH (1 hours, 45 minutes); Boston, MA (3 hours); Providence, RI (4 hours); Hartford, CT (4 hours, 30 minutes); New York, NY (6 hours, 30 minutes); Portland, ME (3 hours, 45 minutes); Burlington, VT (3 hours); Montreal, Canada (4 hours).

Phone Numbers

Primary

(603) 374-2272

Links