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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Piper Mountain in the Belknap Range

We recently hiked up Piper Mountain, which is part of the Belknap Mountain Range just south of Belknap Mountain. Piper Mountain has two peaks in close proximity, both a south and north, the south being the prominent one at 2,044 feet. There’s a ton of info regarding the trail network for this mountain as well as others in the Belknap Range at belknaprangetrails.org/. On this site you can find detailed trail descriptions and a great 11x17 pdf map of the range.

View from Piper Mountain's North Peak

We hiked the mountain starting from the Belknap Mountain Carriage Road upper parking area. From here, we hiked a short distance down the carriage road about 0.2 miles until the White Trail entered the woods to the south (just after the bridge). This trail descends gently over nicely groomed trails for a short distance into the col between Piper and Belknap. Here, it splits at a junction with the Old Piper Trail.


 Walk down the Carriage Road. The trailhead for the White Trail is just over the bridge on the left.

White Trail Trailhead

The Old Piper Trail veers to the right and continues with orange blazes through mostly hardwood. The trail, like much of the Beklnap Range trail network, is nicely groomed and maintained. The forest slowly gives way to shorter trees and ledge footing with some decent views to the northeast.

Soon, the trail turns to open ledges with great views to the east at the north peak. This location is also the end of the Old Piper Trail and beginning of the Piper-Whiteface Link Trail. We continued over the ledges, through blueberry scrub to the true summit at the south peak. The views were better on the north peak so we back tracked there for lunch.


View from the first set of ledges

The north peak had a great view of Belknap Mountain with the cell tower and fire tower in visible. There were also nice views of Mount Suncook, Mount Klem and Mount Mack. Also, there was a body of water poking out from behind some peaks. I think it was Round Pond, but may have been portions of Alton Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. There was also a great view of a mountain to the West, but I did not have a map that had terrain that far enough out to identify it.


 Open Ledges

Stone Thrown that has been on the north peak for many years


Belknap Mountain, cell tower and fire tower visible although didn't show up in this photo


Zoom in of fire tower on Belknap


Close up of either Round Pond or portions of Alton Bay


View to the west

 Zoom in of a mountain to the northwest, not sure which one...maybe Cardigan???


Zoom in of what I believe to be Mount Kearsarge to the west

We headed back down the same way ascended making the round trip about 2.4 miles. This was a great, short hike with rewarding views. I highly recommend it as family friendly, especially for small kids.

GPS vs. Map

 Signage from the trek

More Signage

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5 comments:

  1. Karl, I enjoy the blog postings that you do from this part of NH. Your photos and descriptions are consistently superb and provide a vivid vicarious experience for hikes that I might never do in-person. Thank you for taking time to post your adventures!

    John

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, John! I hope you do get to check out all these hikes in person some day!

      Thanks,
      Karl

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