Crawford Path turns 200!

The Crawford Path was built in 1819, making it the oldest, continuously maintained and used footpath in America. The trail travels 8.5 miles beginning in Crawford Notch and terminating at the Mt. Washington summit, beginning at 1,900 feet, and climbing to its terminus at 6,288 feet. The trail spans all three districts on the White Mountain National Forest, and is overlaid by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail for 5.4 miles, providing it additional status as a flagship trail and valued destination with ancillary partnership potential.

200 Years Ago...

Ethan Allen Crawford and his father, Abel, were not the first to summit Mount Washington. But their actions in 1819 unlocked the fabled mountain to countless adventure-lovers who flock to the Appalachian Trail and New Hampshire from around the world. After watching numerous hiking parties run into trouble attempting the thick woods on Washington’s southwest slopes, the Crawfords set out in 1819 to cut an 8.5-mile, rolling path from the valley where they lived (now Crawford Notch) to the mountain’s summit, 6,288 feet above sea level.

Premier Hiking Trail in the Whites

As the “premier” trail in the area, Crawford Path receives heavy traffic. Unfortunately, it hasn’t received heavy maintenance and is suffering the strains of over-use. In 2018, the NFF worked with local groups and the Forest Service to rehabilitate the trail and ensure that it will endure for another two-hundred years. This work will take place just in time to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of this legendary trail. 

Maintaining Crawford Path

REI is the primary financial supporter of the Crawford Path
restoration project through a partnership with the National Forest Foundation.

As the Crawford Path celebrates 200 years, REI’s investment in the trail has topped $200,000 – a contribution that speaks to the history and legacy of the trail.

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Splitting Rock to make Rock Steps

WMTC - Crawford Path project 2018

Working with USFS Botanists to protect fragile vegetation

WMTC - Crawford Path project 2018

Rebuilt Scree Walls to designate the trail and keep hikers off vegetation

WMTC - Crawford Path project 2018

Moving rock away from vegetation - using the rock for scree walls

WMTC - Crawford Path project 2018

Education! Americorps Volunteers learning about plant life from the USFS Botanist

Volunteer!

Crawford Path Work Day with AMC July 7th

Join the AMC, the White Mountain National Forest, and the White Mountain Trail Collective as we celebrate the bicentennial of the Crawford Path. Lend a hand on this historic hiking trail in the White Mountains! The Crawford Path is one of the most popular trails on the White Mountain National Forest. As the oldest continuously maintained recreation trail in the country, the Crawford Path suffers from degraded trail conditions nearly 200 years in the making. This volunteer event is part of Crawford Path's 200th anniversary. These events provide an opportunity for volunteers to help protect the Crawford Path from further degradation and preserve this hiking resource for the next century.

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Crawford Path Work Day with WMTC August 3rd

WMTC's first in-house volunteer trail day, work will occur on the lower section of Crawford path from Route 302 to Mizpah Cutoff trail. This section is one of the most traveled portions of Crawford Path coming out of the AMC highland Center and as the easiest access to Mizpah Springs Hut. Volunteers will work on building and repairing trail structures such as water bars and stone steps in an effort to reduce soil erosion and harden the tread surface. Thanks to the dedicated volunteer maintainers on this section, a lot of the level 1 maintenance such as lopping and cleaning drains has already been done! That means volunteers joining us get to join in on projects started by the AMC professional trail crew and US Forest Service trail crews. Volunteers will be helping to make a lasting impact on the future sustainability of Crawford Path. Work day will entail 4-6 hours of work, hiking up to 4 miles, and moving and placing large rocks. Bring water and gloves, lunch will be provided! Space is limited! No experience necessary!

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REI Members Volunteer Day August 24th

Celebrate the 200th year of the Crawford Path with REI and the White Mountain Trail Collective for a trail maintenance project! Spend the day with your hands in the dirt, helping to craft this historical trail, connecting with nature and your fellow community members. This project involves rock work along the Lower Crawford Trail, will meet at 9am and end at 3pm. Lunch will be provided for all participants. The Crawford Path represents a tangible opportunity to protect the trails and preserve the legacy through an intentional cultural and skill building exchange between volunteer events, hikers, and pro trail crews. Meet at the Crawford Connector trailhead at 9:00 AM. Things to bring: daypack, water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, bug repellent, hat, long pants, close-toe shoes, rain gear, and layers as needed! Welcoming all levels of experience and ability! REI is the primary financial supporter of the Crawford Path restoration project through a partnership with the National Forest Foundation.

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All Womens Crawford Path Work Day with AMC August 31st

Join the AMC, the White Mountain National Forest, and the White Mountain Trail Collective as we celebrate the bicentennial of the Crawford Path. Lend a hand on this historic hiking trail in the White Mountains! The Crawford Path is one of the most popular trails on the White Mountain National Forest. As the oldest continuously maintained recreation trail in the country, the Crawford Path suffers from degraded trail conditions nearly 200 years in the making. This volunteer event, intended to provide an opportunity for women to work together on trail stewardship projects, is part of Crawford Path's 200th anniversary. These events provide an opportunity for volunteers to help protect the Crawford Path from further degradation and preserve this hiking resource for the next century.

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This Project is supported by:

along with MANY trail clubs, crews and volunteers!

Ready to Help?

There are many ways to help us with the Crawford Path Project!  Volunteer, Donate or help us spread the word!  With thousands of users visiting and hiking Crawford Path each year significant cumulative impacts occur.  Now you can make an difference, by helping us to keep Crawford Path around for another 200 years!