White Mountain National Forest
Champney Brook Trail
The Champney Brook Trail begins at the Kancamagus Highway and ends on the Piper Trail in the flatsaddle between Mt. Chocorua and the Three Sisters. Along the way,a loop path diverges left off the trail to Champney Falls andPitcher Falls. The best waterfall viewing occurs duringwet times of year.The trailhead lies by theinformation board in the Champney Brook parking area. After crossing the footbridge over Twin Brook, the trail will turn sharply to the right. Follow the easy grade of an old logging road to Champney Brook. At 1.4 miles, a loop trail will branch off on the left to scenic Champney and Pitcher Falls. In .3 mile the loop will reconnectwith the Champney Brook Trail, which now becomes steeper. You willreach the first set of switch backs at 2.4 miles. The Champney Brook Cutoff Trail will lead to Middle Sister at 3.0 miles whilethe Champney Brook Trail will reach a saddle and pass the Middle Sister Trail on the left. Soon the Champney Trail will end atthe junction of the Piper Trail, which will lead you to the summitin .6 mile.
Thinking of a loop hike? Fromthe summit, descend via the Beeline Trail to the Bolles Trail.Turn right onto the Bolles Trail and return to the parking areawhere you began. This is a 9.5 mile hike and is recommended forstrong hikers only. Please consult a trail map.
Liberty Trail via Paugus Mill Road
The Liberty Trail is very popular and is considered the easiest trail to reach the summit. Leaving the northeast side of the parking lot, the trail ascends at a steady,moderate grade along an old bridle path. It crosses Durrell Brook at 1.1 miles, one third of the way to Jim Liberty Cabin.
The Hammond Trail enters from the right at 2.7 miles. The LibertyTrail continues to Jim Liberty Cabin at 3.3 miles and meets the Brook Trail on a ledge at 3.6 miles. Continue on the Brook Trail another .2 mile to the summit of Mt. Chocorua. (The Beeline enters 10 yards from the Liberty and Brook Trailjunction.) The summit of Mt. Chocorua is .2 mile farther via theBrook Trail.
The Brook Trail, with its steepledges, is more difficult than the Liberty Trail. It has excellentviews on the rocky ledges near the summit of Chocorua. The trailcan be hazardous in wet or icy conditions. The trail begins byfollowing a gravel road beyond the parking lot gate. The trailleaves the gravel road on the right at .4 mile and follows thesouth bank of Claybank Brook. The trail passes to the junctionwith the Bickford Trail and continues to the first ledge at 3.0miles, near where Beeline Trail enters on the left.The trail climbs the steep, open ledges of the Farlow Ridge withcairns and yellow paint marking the way. The Liberty Trail entersfrom the right at 3.4 miles. The summit of Mt. Chocorua is .2mile via the Brook Trail.
Note: The summit can be avoided during bad weather by following theWest Side Trail, which enters 25 yards beyond the Beeline Trailand runs into the Piper Trail.
The Piper Trail is an attractivetrail that offers maximum walking on open ledges to the summitof Mt. Chocorua.
It starts at an easy grade onprivate land following an old logging road. The White MountainNational Forest boundary comes at approximately .6 miles.The Weetamoo Trail turns off to the left at .8 miles and the Nickerson Ledge Trail turns off to the right at 1.4 miles. The Piper Trailascends moderately past a cleared outlook to Carter Ledge. Itthen becomes steeper and changes into a series of switchbacks,stone steps, and paving. The Camp Penacook Spur Trail at 3.1 milesbranches off to the left and ascends .2 miles to the shelter.Open Ledges soon appear, giving great views to the north,east and south. The Champney Brook Trail comes in on your rightat 3.9 miles and .2 miles further, the West Side Trail comes inon your right. The Piper Trail continues following yellow paintmarks over open ledges to the summit.
Note: It may be safer during bad weather to follow the West Side andBrook trails to the summit.
Piper Trail at a Glance
Location: Rte. 16, six miles south of Conway behind the Piper Trail Cabins and Restaurant. This is private land and there is a fee-area parking lot.
Length and Estimated Times:
• Nickerson Ledge Trail: 1.4 miles, 1 hour
• Chocorua River Crossing: 2.0 miles, 1 hour and 25 minutes
• Camp Penacook Spur Trail: 3.1 miles, 2 hours and 25 minutes
• Champney Brook Trail: 3.9 miles, 3 hours and 10 minutes
• Mt. Chocorua Summit: 4.5 miles, 3 hours and 35 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Elevation Gain to Summit: 2700 feet
Elevation Gain to Summit: 2300 feet
Both Camp Penacook and Jim Liberty Cabin are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. No camping or fires are allowed anywhere else on the upper part of Mt. Chocorua except at these sites.
Jim Liberty Cabin facilities include nine bunk beds, pittoilet, table, and a bench. A drinking water source is located0.1 mile down on the right when facing the cabin. Itcannot be depended on during dry times of the year. There isno longer a wood stove due to its impact on the cabin and onthe scenic and fragile environment. The use of camp stoves isencouraged; fires are prohibited.
Camp Penacook facilities include a three-sided shelter,tent platform, pit toilet, and a nearby water source. A cookinggrate and fire ring are provided for use. The three-sided shelterand the tent platform each have a capacity of six to eight people.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication