Hart’s Location

Hart’s Location is one of New Hampshire’s 25 unincorporated places. Most of Hart’s Location is included in Crawford Notch State Park. The history of the notch is quite interesting and begins around 1771.

Steve and I visited the notch the first weekend we were at Apple Hill Campground. We stopped at the Silver Cascade Falls. There are two parking areas and the falls can be seen from the road…


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I knew there were several places in the notch I wanted to visit. Some of these places were right along Route 302 (I believe 302 is the only paved road in Hart’s Location) and other places were hike-ins. I wanted to get an early start since there was so much to see. I left Waldo about 6:45 am and made my first stop in Hart’s Location about 7:30 am. The train station was closed, but there were already cars parked at the trailhead.

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The Conway Scenic Railway travels through the notch on certain days of the week. The tracks weave their way through the notch…

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Passing breath taking scenery…

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I stopped at the Tourist Information center at the Willey House Historic Site (history) because I wanted to get a better look at the pond across the street. Since it was still quite early, the ducks were just waking up. The males seemed very happy to pose for me, while the female squawked at my intrusion…

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From here, I headed to the Ripley Falls trail. Ripley Falls is the second highest waterfall in New Hampshire coming in at just about 100′. I parked at the trailhead, lathered on the bug spray and was on my way. After crossing the train tracks, I started up the trail…

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Looks easy enough, but it does cross some rough terrain…

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I finally reached the base of the falls…

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I wasn’t the only early riser

I was debating whether or not to continue on to Arethusa Falls (the tallest in New Hampshire).  I knew the trail was much steeper than the Ripley Falls trail and I was already feeling a bit sore…


I decided to start up the trail and see how it looked. As I was stepping over a log, I noticed what I thought was a dew covered fungi. Bending down to take a look, I discovered it was actually pine sap…


The higher I climbed, the more painted trilliums I saw. In the lower elevations, they were mostly gone by…


I was really starting to think this wasn’t such a grand idea when I could hear the whooshing sound of water. I detoured off the main trail and found myself atop of Ripley Falls…

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With the brook creating even more falls behind me…

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Ultimately, I did give up my hike to Arethusa Falls, I’ve had chronic pain syndrome now for several years and know when to stop. When I returned to the bottom of Ripley Falls, I met a couple  whose pup had found the perfect place to rest her head. If Diesel had been with me, he would have been way more interested in playing in the water, but she was quite content sitting in the shallows…

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They asked if I’d seen the remains of the cellar hole for the Willey House Station at the beginning of the trail. I hadn’t but did stop on my way back…

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My next stop was at parking lot of the Fourth Iron Campground.  Camping here requires you to hike in all of your gear. Reviewing several websites, I did discover that each of the 8 sites has it’s own bear box. A good thing when you are in bear country!

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If you prefer picnicking to camping, there are a number of peaceful places to stop along Route 302…

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And, if you are lucky, you might get to see this year’s turkey hatchlings. It isn’t a great picture, but they were too cute not to include…

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There are many other hikes which can be started or ended in Hart’s Location. It really is an outdoor lover’s dream!

Have you ever visited Crawford Notch State Park? Did you hike to Arethusa Falls?


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15 Comments on “Hart’s Location”

  1. Sue Slaght June 28, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    Laura this may be one of my favorite posts of yours! I felt as though I was hiking right along with you. When we got to the top of the water falls and looked down I actually gasped. Wonderful perspective. Good for you to recognize your limits and frankly I was tired after all of that rough terrain! The resting pup is another heartwarming image . Really enjoyed this Laura. Have a great day!

    • Touring NH June 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

      Thank you Sue. The view from the top of the falls was an unexpected, happy surprise. The pup was SOOO mellow and content.

      • Sue Slaght June 28, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

        Just LOVE those surprises especially when one has made some extra effort!

  2. John R Bolduc June 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

    We could have very easily crossed paths as I was in Hart’s Location three different times taking photos and/or passing through while you were “Up North”.
    I have a few similar shots to what you have.

    Hart’s Location was my launch point up the Dry River Trail to get to my 258th and 259th (out of 259) city-town-township in New Hampshire.

    • Touring NH June 28, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

      It would have been great to meet up with you. It sure is a beautiful area!

  3. marthaschaefer June 28, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

    I had no idea how beautiful it is up there! Great shots and lovely commentary. Keep up the great touring!

    • Touring NH June 28, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

      Every time I travel up north I am amazed. I always seem to forget how beautiful it is.

  4. New Hampshire Garden Solutions June 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

    The water falls are beautiful. I’ve never been there but I’d like to go.
    The pine sap is odd! I’ve never seen it like that.

    • Touring NH June 28, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

      You would really love it up there. So many trails. The pine sap was really neat.

  5. seekraz July 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    What a beautiful area…..I would love hiking those trails….

  6. oninmac July 7, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    This is nice! I really am into adventures and hiking is the best. As you narrate, it’s like i’m with you, in the same place! This is nice 🙂

    • Touring NH July 7, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

      Thank you so much. There are so many trails in Hart’s Location! Waterfalls, bluffs, just so much to see. And part of the Appalachian Trail crosses here.

      • oninmac July 8, 2016 at 11:12 am #

        I love such things! I would love to be there 🙂

  7. Marie Keates August 22, 2016 at 7:45 am #

    This reminded me of so many of my walks. The joy of discovery, the doubts… You have such wonderful wide open spaces and trails.

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