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Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

Crawford Notch is a major pass through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, located almost entirely within the town of Hart's Location. Roughly half of that town is contained in Crawford Notch State Park. The high point of the notch, at approximately above sea level, is at the southern end of the town of Carroll, near the Crawford Depot train station and Saco Lake, the source of the Saco River, which flows southward through the steep-sided notch. North of the high point of the notch, Crawford Brook flows more gently northwest to the Ammonoosuc River, a tributary of the Connecticut River.
The notch is traversed by U.S. Route 302, which closely follows the Saco River southeast to North Conway and less closely follows the Ammonoosuc River northwest to Littleton.
The notch became known to European settlers when found by Timothy Nash in 1771. The 1772 boundaries of Hart's Grant reflected its shape. It was named for Abel Crawford, an explorer, trail-builder and hosteler in the early 19th century. The Tenth New Hampshire Turnpike from Portsmouth was extended through the notch to Lancaster in 1803. The turnpike and later Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad through Crawford Notch opened a new route through the White Mountains for settlers of the area to the northwest to reach Conway on the way to the trading ports on the coast.
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Crawford Notch Reviews
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39 reviews
  • This road not far from Mnt. Washington gives a nice view of the surroundings. Many peaks and valleys and during the autumn you have the beautiful discoloration of the trees. Very good road.
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  • Crawford Notch is a vital part of New England History and the views here are second to none. All the seasons are beautiful, but we were lucky enough to be here in fall to see leaves in a wide variety ...  more »
  • Crawford Notch is a picturesque pass with an old railway along the west side. It is wider than Franconia Notch, and includes several easy to access waterfalls. The nearby mountains are less steep and less popular for hiking than the neighboring Franconia Notch. I think it is underrated and a good place to go when Franconia Notch is really busy, but otherwise I prefer Franconia Notch. Arethusa falls it the must see spot in the area.
  • Beautiful drive through Crawford Notch even on a rainy day. Wisps of fog, clouds dissipating added natural beauty to the lush green trees. The bare rock is awesome. Needed dryer weather and more time to explore. Many opportunities for hiking in that arra.

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