Rt. 302 thru Crawford Notch to Bartlett (Mile 30-49) :
Interpretive Site: Crawford Notch Visitor Center & Willey House Site - Rt 302, Crawford Notch State Park. Natural & Historic Points of Interest: Crawford Notch, Silver Cascade, Crawford Railroad Station, Saco Lake, Willey House, Frankenstein Cliff, Bartlett Covered Bridge.
From Bretton Woods, continue on Route 302 through Crawford Notch as it travels through Crawford Notch and Crawford Notch Sate Park. Along this stretch nature reasserts itself with several scenic overlooks and inviting places to stop: the Mt. Eisenhower Wayside Park (30.2); Mt. Clinton trailhead (31.7); the former site of the Crawford House hotel (31.8); and Crawford Depot (31.9).
The Depot is an Appalachian Mountain Club-run facility offering hiking information and a view across the road to Saco Lake, headwaters of the Saco River. You are now at the entrance to Crawford Notch State Park, 6 miles of rugged beauty in a mountain pass. Above the road is a natural rock formation known as Elephant Head (32.1). When you see Dismal Pool (32.5), slow down and pull off (32.6) into the viewpoint; it's well worth the stop. From the parking area you can see the Flume Cascade (32.7) and Silver Cascade (32.8), just two of the waterfalls along this stretch of the trail.
Two miles farther is the site of the historic Willey Slide (34.6), where the Willey Family of seven and two hired men died in an 1826 landslide. Information about the State Park, restrooms and picnic sites are available at the Visitor Center. You're likely to see lots of hikers: the Appalachian Trail is close by (35.7); as are Dry River Campground, with its views of Frankenstein Cliff (37.5); parking for Arethusa Falls trail (38.0) leading to one of the highest waterfalls in New Hampshire; Bemis Bridge trailhead (40.2); and Nancy Brook Bridge (40.6).
At the turn of the 20th century, logging threatened to decimate the White Mountains region. Lancaster resident Congressman John Wingate Weeks sponsored the Weeks Act, which resulted in the creation of the White Mountain National Forest. Today you can visit sites of now abandoned logging towns that flourished at the turn of the century, including Livermore on the Sawyer River Road (42.4).
The next section of the Trail takes you through the Mount Washington Valley, which begins in Bartlett Village (46.1). A summer resort since the early 1800's, the Mt Washington Valley became a winter resort in the 1930s. Today there are 5 downhill ski areas, miles of cross-country trails and so many things to see and do, that vacationers come year round. The Valley is also known all over the eastern US and into Canada for its wealth of outlet shopping, nearly 200 stores and counting.
In Bartlett Village , you can turn right onto Bear Notch Road (46.4), which connects with the Kancamagus Highway at (76.5). There are several scenic turnoffs along the road (which is open spring to late fall), including one overlook that offers extraordinary views of Crawford Notch. To fully experience the White Mountains Trail, however, continue on Route 302 past Bear Notch Road east to Glen, where it joins Route 16 south through North Conway and Conway.