US-302 between Glen and Twin Mountain winds west around the southern flank of the Presidential Range, then heads north through Crawford Notch, another of the White Mountains’ high passes and centerpiece of the Crawford Notch State Park. The road closely follows the Saco River through new-growth forest; the oaks and white pine of the lower valley give way to more birch and spruce as you gain elevation.
Crawford Notch offers good day hikes to various waterfalls and vantage points such as Frankenstein Cliff, named for an artist whose work helped popularize the White Mountains, and 140-or-so-foot Arethusa Falls, the state’s second highest waterfall.
For ambitious and well-prepared hikers, the north end of Crawford Notch is the start of the oldest and perhaps grandest walking trail in the country, the eight-mile Crawford Path up towering Mt. Washington. A strenuous, demanding, and potentially dangerous route, the Crawford Path is also breathtakingly beautiful. A walk along it gives an almost complete picture of the White Mountains—sparkling brooks, fields of wildflowers, and glorious mountaintop panoramas.