Skiing & Winter Hiking at the Cog Railway!
Interested in hiking or skiing Mount Washington in the winter? If you are, you should begin your adventure from the Base Station of the Cog Railway, also known as “Marshfield”. Marshfield is located at an elevation of 2700′ and is accessible by car all winter. It is the highest full service facility on the slopes of Mount Washington. Marshfield offers a warm and comfortable atmosphere with great parking, a convenience store, fast food and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), a limited amount of winter gear and clothing, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway Museum. Starting in the winter of 2019-20 Marshfield will be open every day from 7 AM to 3PM Mon-Fri and till 4PM on Sat-Sun.
There are 3 main trails to the summit of Mt. Washington starting from Marshfield. The Ammonoosuc Trail, the Jewell Trail and the Crawford Bridle Path, which follows the railway tracks. Following the track, it is less than 3 miles to the summit from Marshfield. The railway has shelters located next to the tracks at 4000′ that offer some protection from the elements. Back country skiing along the railway tracks is legendary, offering a true back country experience with a fairly easy ascent and manageable terrain.
Access to Marshfield Base Station is free to visitors, however there is a paid permit required to use the land for activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. These can be purchased at Marshfield.
Please read the Policies & Procedures below before purchasing Land Use Permits.
Online pre-sales will be available shortly to expedite your adventure!
Winter Land Use Permit
Allows use of Mount Washington Cog Railway lands for winter activities
Winter Land Use Season Pass
Allows unlimited use of Mount Washington Cog Railway lands for winter activities for one year
Land Use Policies & Procedures
The Mount Washington Cog Railway owns 39 acres of land at the base of the Western slope of Mt. Washington and a 99 foot wide parcel of land from the base to the summit of Mt. Washington. Although there are several hiking trails that start at the base of the cog railway and that traverse the railway property in a number of locations on and around the summit of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire State Law prohibits the creation of prescriptive easements across railroad property no matter how long such usage has been in existence.
In addition to the use of the property to facilitate the operation of the cog railway, the property owned by the Cog Railway on Mt. Washington is used by commercial and non-profit entities for recreational and educational purposes for which fees are charged and by members of the public for recreational activities. The primary activities occurring on the property are hiking, snowshoeing, back country skiing, mountaineering and other forms of primitive outdoor recreation as well as research and search and rescue operations.
To preserve, enhance and maintain the railway’s property for primitive recreational uses, the Railway has adopted certain land use goals, guidelines and fees for those persons or entities who wish to use the railway property and have not purchased a ticket to ride on the railway. The purchase of a ticket on the cog railway includes the price of a land use permit.
To preserve, promote, maintain, improve and protect the property for primitive recreational purposes, secure a revenue stream to improve and maintain the property to facilitate its use for recreational purposes and to defray the costs of keeping the Marshfield Station facilities and parking open for the use of recreational users during the winter season and summer seasons.
All users of the property shall be required to purchase land use permits. Permits are available for the day or can be purchased to cover a year period. A day pass is $10. A season pass is $100. These passes can be purchased at the Marshfield Base Station, access control points, or at sales kiosks located at various spots on the property. Use of the Cog Railway’s property without a land use permit is not permitted and violators will be asked to leave the premises and may be prosecuted for trespassing.
Users of the Cog Railway’s Property acknowledge that use of its property carries certain inherent risks in that the property is traversed by an operating railroad and the facilities associated with it. Therefore users of the property must be vigilant in avoiding unmarked obstructions, including parts of the track and trestle used by the railway. Users of the Railway’s property for recreational purposes by buying a property use permit agree that they shall hold the railway harmless for any and all injuries they may sustain as a result of any activities they may engage in while on railway property. The railway agrees that it will aid search and rescue operations in the event rescues are required as a result of injuries or unforeseen circumstances although there may be additional charges imposed for such search and rescue operations by the railway.
All users of the property are required to remove all refuse or trash which may be generated or result from their use of the property. Hikers, climbers, back country skiers and others using the property shall strive to hike, snow shoe or skinny up the sides of all open areas in an effort to maintain snow coverage and quality. Back country skiers shall maintain a safe distance from the tracks when skiing down the trails next to the tracks and shall at no time attempt to ski across or over the tracks regardless of the apparent snow coverage.
Commercial Use Policies:
Any person or entity operating a commercial or non-profit entity for which fees are charged for any services are required to secure a commercial property use permit. Applications shall be submitted to the Cog Railway before any use of its property and said entity must receive a properly signed and executed commercial use authorization form. These forms may be obtained at access points or the Marshfield Station. Use of the property without prior authorization is not permitted. Violators of this policy will be asked to immediately vacate the premises and may be prosecuted for trespassing.