I took a little trip to Portland this weekend to see some friends and family. Instead of my usual mindless route on the interstates, I decided to take 302 all the way to the coast, right through Crawford Notch. Since my route for this Autumn’s hike will cross 302 three times, this is a prime location for scouting.
No matter how often I look at maps and then go into the woods, the reality of the place never fails to strike me as extraordinary. I can’t remember what I imagined places to look like when poring over the dozens of maps, but it’s never the same as when I get there. The road through Crawford Notch is a wide highway through some of the most scenic terrain imaginable, with dozens of trailhead parking areas scattered along the route. I drove through on a beautiful, sunny Saturday, so many of the lots were packed with cars. I won’t have to worry about parking for my trip, at least.
Aside from measuring out some of the distances for road walks, I went up the Old Cherry Mountain Road a ways to see what the deal is with camping there. I wasn’t sure what the camp sites in the Cohos Trail Guidebook were, so I went in and found several sites designated by the Forest Service, so that looks like a legitimate possibility.
As I drove by the Webster Cliffs Trailhead and saw the little “Appalachian Trail– Georgia to Maine” sign at that indiscreet crossing, I wondered if some day there might be three signs elsewhere on the road: “New England Trail– Canada to Long Island Sound”