Parking on the NH Appalachian Trail

Section 4 - Crawford Notch to Franconia Notch Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Appalachian Mountain Club - New Hampshire http://www.amc-nh.org/ chairnh @ amc-nh.org Grafton Notch to Kinsman Notch, NH


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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Weather  
Source
0.0
US 302 - Crawford Notch State Park
  Poor            Great




The AT crosses US 302 in Crawford Notch opposite the road to the former Willey House Station - eight miles north of Bartlett and 10 miles south of Twin Mountain. Ample parking but do not leave any valuables in your vehicle since theft and vandalism have been reported.

10 at trailhead 1
at @ rohland.org
The intersection noted above is about a mile south of the Willey House Site, now a gift shop/snack shop. There is roadside parking for several cars here, but far better parking is localed at the Willey Station Site (not to be confused with the Willey House Site). See Mile 0.3. 6/30/06 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
0.3
Willey House Station Site
  Poor            Great




From the intersection of US 302 and the road to Willey Station site (See mile 0.0), follow the latter road west to its end. The AT also follows this road. Large parking lot is at end of road. The parking lot can be seen on the attached map just north of the railroad tracks in the lower center of the satellite view. The southbound AT to the rest of Section 4 leaves the west (far) end of the parking area. Here it is called the Ethan Pond Trail. 6/30/06 20-25 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
We parked our car there on two occasions of 4 days each, and there were no problems. 01/13/10 1
pkarnold1 @ att.net
AT trailhead is just the other side of the railroad tracks at this parking area.
GPS N44.16707 W71.38642
9/2/2011 10/17/11
10 at trailhead 1
at @ rohland.org
1.6
Kedron Flume Trail
  Poor            Great



 
I have not hiked this trail. Information from the 'White Mountain Guide' (27th ed.), Trailhead for this trail is at Willey House Site in Crawford Notch State Park. There is a gift shop/snack bar there. Since this is state park land, not National Forest land, a WMNF parking permit is not required. This is also true for the access points at Mile 0.0 and 0.3. It is 1.0 miles to Kedron Flume (a cascade) and 1.3 miles to the AT (here called the Ethan Pond Trail). The part past the Kedron Flume is reportedly very steep and rough. At the junction the southbound AT is to the right, northbound to the left. 7/1/2006 Ample parking
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
7.5
Zealand Trail
  Poor            Great



 
The trail head for this trail is reached by following Zealand Road (FR 16) to its end at a parking lot 3.5 miles from US 302. This road is initally paved with the rest being a good gravel road. The junction of US 302 and Zealand Road is about 2.3 miles east of Twin Mountain Village. Look for the signs to Zealand Campground. Zealand Road goes south from the intersection. This blue-blazed trail mostly follows an old railroad grade. It is an easy trail climbing 450 feet in 2.5 miles to meet the AT. This is just after the Zealand Trail passes Zealand Pond. The northbound AT continues straight ahead as the Ethan Pond Trail. The southbound AT goes right as the Twinway, reaching Zealand Falls Hut in 0.3 miles. 6/29/06 15-20
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
In this and all parking areas on White Mountain National Forest Land, a parking permit is required. These permits are available at many locations including ranger stations and the AMC facilities at Pinkham Notch and Crawford Notch. Currently these cost $5 for a 7 day permit. Some parking areas have a self-service kiosk for single day permits. The permit must be left on the dashboard. Alternatives such as the Golden Age Passports (issued by the National Park Service) may be used instead, and in those cases no payment is required. 8/01/07
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
An alternate (but much tougher) approach to the AT at this point is via the Avalon and A-Z Trails. Traihead for the Avalon Trail is at Crawford Notch. It starts from the old depot (now an AMC information booth). Crawford Notch is the high point on US 302 about 20 miles west of North Conway and 8.5 miles east of the traffic lights in Twin Mountain village. Parking used to be ample here, but I have not been to Crawford Notch since the Highland Center Lodge opened. Follow the Avalon Trail 1.3 miles, climbing 800 feet in elevation. The A-Z trail goes right. It climbs an additional 1000 feet in 1.0 miles, then descends 1250 feet in 2.7 miles to reach the Zealant Trail. Go left on the Zealand Trail 0.5 miles to reach the AT. Total length from Crawford notch is 4.2 miles. 7/1/2006
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
15.3
Gale River Trail
  Poor            Great



 
To reach trailhead Leave US 3 at Trudeau Road a few miles west of Twin Mountain. This junction is about 4.5 miles east of I-87 and approximately 5 miles west of Twin Mountain. Go south at this intersection on the Gale River Road (FR 25). This is a good gravel road. Bear left at 0.6 miles, then turn sharp right at 1.3 miles on the Gale River Loop Road. The parking area is on the left at 1.6 miles. It can be seen on the attached map. White Mountain National Forest parking permit required. The blue-blazed Gale River Trail climbs 1800 feet in 4.0 miles to meet the AT (which here is following the Garfield Ridge Trail). Only the last mile is steep. At the junction the southbound AT goes right, the northbound goes left. Galehead Hut is 0.6 miles to the left. The trail starts just to the east of the parking area. 6/29/06 20-25 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
17.6
Garfield Trail
  Poor            Great



 
One route I have followed to this trail head is to follow directions to the Gale River Trail parking area (See Mile 15.3) then continue on the Gale River Loop Road 1.6 miles to the parking area on the left. This trail head may also be reached by leaving US 3 0.3 mi south of the intersection with Trudeau Road. This is just before northbound US 3 crosses the Gale River. Some guide books mention a picnic area here, but that apparently no longer exsits. Avoiding a right fork, follow the Gale River Loop Road (a good gravel road) south for 1.2 miles, then swing left and cross a bridge to the parking area on the right. WMNF parking permit (or equivalent) required. The marker on the attached map indicates the parking area. The trail begins on the west side of the parking lot. Most of this 4.8 mile trail follows the old road once used to access the fire tower on Mt. Garfield. It gains 2700 feet in elevation. It meets the AT (here called the Garfield Ridge Trail) 0.2 miles east of the summit of Mt. Garfield. Southbound is right, northbound is left. 10-15 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
20.6
Skookumchuck Trail
  Poor            Great



 
Following Information from AMC White Mountain Guide, 27th ed. Trail head for this trail is at a parking lot on US 3. This is 0.3 miles south of the junction of US 3 and NH 141 and just north of the point where US 3 divides at its northern junction with I- 93 and the Franconia Notch Parkway I believe this parking area is part of Franconia Notch State Park. It is the north end of the Franconia Notch Bike Path. There were no signs that mandated use of a White Mountain National Forest parking permit, so I assume one is not required. The trail is 4.3 miles long and climbs 3000 feet to meet the AT (here the Garfield Ridge Trail) on the north ridge of Mt. Lafaette. 7/13/06 8-10
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
21.3
Greenleaf Trail
  Poor            Great



 
Trail head for this trail is at the Cannon Mt. Tramway parking lot on the west side of I-93 (Franconia Notch Parkway). The trail initially follows a sidewalk through the parkway overpass, turns left and follows the northbound ramp 25 yards before entering the woods (sign). The marker on the attached map indicates the approximate beginning of the trail It is 2.7 miles and a climb of 2250 feet to Greenleaf Hut. It is an additional 1.1 miles and 1000 feet elevation gain to meet the AT at the summit of Mt. Lafayette. Southbound AT (Franconia Ridge Trail) is to right, northbound AT (Garfield Ridge Trail) is to the left. 6/30/06 Ample parking 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
An alternative trailhead (actually the more heavily used) is at the Old Bridle Path parking lot. If going north on I-93 take the exit for Trailhead parking across from Lafayette Place Campground. If going south on I-93, take the exit for Lafayette Place Campgound. Bear right at the end of the ramp. Parking near the hiker information booth. A paved path leads through a pedestrian underpass to the parking lot on the east side of the parkway which is the trailhead for the Old Bridle Path and the Falling Waters Trail. On the attached map, the marker indicates the approximate start of the Old Bridle Path. It is 2.9 miles and a climb of 2450 feet to Greenleaf Hut. From here follow the Greenleaf Trail to the summit of Mt. Lafayette (total distance 4.0 miles). 6/30/06 Ample parking on west side and 20-25 on east side 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
Parking at Trailheads in Franconia Notch are on state park land and do not require a WMNF parking permit. This applies to these trailheads as well as those mentioned for miles 23.0 and 27.7 7/1/2006
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
23.0
Falling Waters Trail
  Poor            Great



 
Trail head for this trail is the same as the Old Bridle Path (See Mile 21.3). Follow the Old Bridle Path 0.2 miles from the east parking lot. At this point the Falling Waters Trail goes right. It climbs 3000 feet in 3.2 miles to reach the AT (here called the Franconia Ridge Trail) at the summit of Little Haystack. 6/30/06
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
27.7
Franconia Notch Bike Path
  Poor            Great




The official southern end of this section is where the AT joins the Franconia Notch State Park Bike Path and crosses the Pemigewasset River on a bridge. There is no automobile access to this point. There is a hiker parking lot just north of the Flume area in the park. From I-93 take the Flume exit onto US 3 southbound. The hiker parking area in on the east side of the freeway. It is north (left) of US 3 shortly after leaving I-93. The marker on the attached lot indicates this parking lot. The Whitehouse Trail goes north as a footpath for 0.6 miles to reach the paved bike path. Continue north on this for another 0.2-0.3 miles. The AT is reached just before the bike path crosses the Pemigewasset River on a bridge. To go northbound to Section 4 continue on the bike path over the bridge. In a short distance the AT, here called the Liberty Spring Trail, goes right. 7/3/06 15-20 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
An alternative approach to this point is from the Basin parking lots. Take the exit off I-93 (Franconia Notch parkway) for the Basin. Follow the paved bike path south from parking lot on the east side of the parkway. It is about 0.5 miles to the junction with the AT. The northbound AT goes left. If using the parking lot on the west side of the parkway, follow the bike path south and under the freeway to the east side lot. The attached map shows the area of parking for the Basin. The marker indicates the northbound lot on the east side of the Parkway. The southbound lot can be seen further north on the west side of the Parkway 7/1/06 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
We parked our car there for 4 days, and there were no problems. 01/13/10 1 1
pkarnold1 @ att.net

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