Crawford Notch State Park has 5,775 acres providing access to numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, fishing, wildlife viewing, and spectacular mountain views. Crawford Notch State Park is rich in history with the famous Willey House. The campground in the park is Dry River Campground and offers 36 wooded sites.
Park in the AMC Highland Center parking lot or along the snow banks of 302 - they do not plow the Crawford Notch train station parking lot where the trail begins in the winter. The trail is packed down with a nice gradual incline all the way to the top. Quick and easy. The view is amazing - if it's clear go near the edge, look directly left and you can see the observation station at the top of Mt. Washington. Release your inner child - bring a plastic sled and ride all the way to the bottom!
Came back and did Frankenstein solo three days after Arethusa (2/7/17) This was after about an 8 inch dusting of snow the night before and I was the only one on the trail the entire time therefore breaking trail with only shoes and spikes. From the train tracks to the top it was all solid uphill and I was scrambling the majority of the time. View was amazing and it was creepy knowing no one else was around and creating the first tracks of the day myself. It took me two and a half hours from the parking lot, up to the Ripley split, and back down Arethusa trail - I opted out of Falcon Cliff and I was a sweaty mess. I would definitely recommend using snow shoes after a fresh snowfall and be very careful on the steep paths and in the fresh snow it is tough to gauge where the trail actually is. Would NOT recommend this hike in the winter time for children, people with heart conditions, or someone who is not confident in their balance and endurance. A great fitness challenge!
Did this last Saturday with a small group. Parking lot was packed but trail to the falls was not too trafficked. Did not need snow shoes as the trail was well packed down from all the previous foot traffic. I did not wear spikes but my other three counter parts did and I was fine. I opted to go back down via Bemis Trail and it was fun literally flying down the cliff by myself. 2 small waterfalls look awesome in snow. Around 3 hours round trip with stopping for the slower people in my group.
Great hike! I would say this is more on the easy side since it's a gradual incline the whole way up. And it's pretty quick - took us an an hour and 15 min with multiple breaks (first hike in awhile) and only a half hour to get down. Definitely had to use micro spikes. Was a cloudy day but still a beautiful hike in the winter. Can't wait to go again and actually see the view!
Did a quick run from 302 to the falls (not Frankenstein Cliff) via Arethusa Falls Trail in August 2016. It was an easy hike made slightly more challenging with the Bemis Brook cutoff. Very popular trail and the view of the falls from the base were spectacular. The falls themselves were crowded, which should be expected. Nice way to spend an afternoon if you're in the area. Just a short drive from North Conway.
I haven't done a lot of hikes, so I have no point of reference. That said, this hike took my breath away. The climb with pines and spring melt was primordial and wonderful. Our 7 year old dog did very well. Moderate hike with many places to stop and take in the green, and smells, and water sounds.