A Whole New World – Mount Crawford

Saturday was a great day for a hike. The sky was clear the sun was shining it was just warm enough to enjoy a hike without being too hot! It was also the first day of fall and the glorious calls of fall were already peeking out of their green shell to give an early flash of their vibrant reds, oranges, gold and yellows. It was a perfect day to explore Mount Crawford. It was about a 5 mile hike up and back. It is a 3119′ mountain. Make sure to always check the weather before hiking. Storms can be very dangerous in the mountains. Also a cloudy or fog day will limit the astounding views.

We took Davis Path to reach the peak of Mount Crawford. Davis Path was cut in 1845 by Nathaniel Davis. Davis was the son-in-law of Abel and Hannah Crawford.  The Crawfords and their growing family were the first family permitted to move into the Notch. They held such an influence on the area that the notch was named after them.  The Crawfords opened an inn and became known for guiding people up to Mount Washington. Davis cut the path up the Mount Crawford and all the way to Mount Washington. The path was 14.4 miles long and ran through the Presidentials and Dry River Wilderness. In the late 1800s the trail fell into disarray and was brought back up to adventure quality by Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC).

Davis Path trailhead is right off of route 302 about 6 miles north of Bear Notch Road. It has a good size parking lot. It doesn’t seem to be a very popular hike even though when the weather is nice it provides amazing views of Mount Washington, Tuckerman’s Ravine, Mount Carrigain, and Frankenstein Cliffs.  A large bridge over the Saco River, Called Bemis Bridge, is at the beginning of the trail.  The trail starts out gradually but then become rather steadily steep. The trail runs along a cliff for some time. The sound of running water and song birds is the sound track. Early on the path is very gravelly so it can be a trip hazard. Be careful especially on the descent.  The hike is five miles round trip after about 1.5 – 2 miles the views out over the notch are amazing on a clear day.  The peak offers both trees and rock but a short stroll around the summit will give you a clear view in all directions. We decided to have our snack and rest facing Mount Washington. It was breath taking.  The foliage was just beginning to change. Reds, oranges and golds mixed with summer greens surround Washington in a stunning early color display. The hike in total took us about 5 hours. Plan on longer if the moderate to challenging incline may be trying on you.  Crawford is not an easy hike but worth the effort for the prospect on top of Crawford is Dazzling!

Don’t forget to be safe while hiking and carry the appropriate gear with you while hiking even for a short day hike!


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