200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRAWFORD PATH; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 131
(Senate - August 01, 2019)

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[Page S5309]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


 Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the 
Crawford Path on its 200th year of continuous operation. As the first 
trail to the summit of 6,288-foot Mount Washington, the Crawford Path 
has provided adventure, physical challenge, and fantastic alpine views 
of the White Mountains for two centuries of hikers and travelers.
  Ethan Allen Crawford, for whom the trail is named, first proposed the 
idea for a path to the peak of Mount Washington. Ethan and his father 
Abel operated the Crawford House, a modest wayside inn which provided 
shelter and accommodations for travelers at the inception of the 
tourism industry in the White Mountains. As an early entrepreneur, he 
realized he could make a little extra money serving as a mountain guide 
to these travelers. After seeing and hearing how difficult it was to 
move through the thick mountain brush, Ethan and Abel set out to cut 
some trees and build a footpath that offered better access to the 
Northeast's highest peak. Their path snaked through the woods, eclipsed 
the tree line, and traversed ridges and peaks on its way to the summit. 
The finished product as among the first hiking trails in the United 
States and established Ethan as an early mountain guide.
  The Crawford Path capitalized on growing interest in the wilderness, 
and more and more travelers viewed the mountains as an outlet for 
recreational experiences. On one of Ethan's guided treks to the top of 
Mount Washington, he led a group that named the surrounding peaks--
Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Madison, Mount Monroe, Mount 
Franklin, and Mount Pleasant, now famously known as the Presidential 
  The family continued to cut trails on the mountain, including a 
bridle path in the 1840s that led horse riders to the summit. Abel--by 
then in his seventies--became the first person to ascend Mount 
Washington on a horse. Years later, the mountain pass where they worked 
was renamed ``Crawford Notch'' as a tribute to the family's 
contributions to the region.
  Generations of hikers have walked along the path first forged by the 
Crawfords, and generations of trail crews have maintained the 8.5-mile 
route for the enjoyment of the public. The Crawford Path carries day 
hikers as well as thru-hikers tackling the Appalachian Trail. Each is 
instantly connected to 200 years of experiences and adventures.
  The White Mountains are now a thriving, well-known, four-season 
tourist destination, where travelers in numbers Abel and Ethan could 
not have imagined come to observe unparalleled natural beauty.
  On behalf of the people of New Hampshire, I ask my colleagues and all 
Americans to join me in recognizing the Crawford Path on its 200 year 
anniversary and in thanking its many stewards for preserving the oldest 
continually-used mountain trail in the United States.