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Trail Conditions

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About


Piper Mountain
Gilford, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Piper Mountain Trail
Looking up the Piper Mountain Trail

Route: Piper Mountain Trail, green blazed trail, bushwhack, green blazed trail, Piper Mountain Trail

While my original intention had been to hike Mt. Tecumseh, the mostly sunny weather forecast had resulted in a mostly cloudy day. Thinking my best chance for any sort of sunset color would be at the lower elevations, I headed down to the Belknaps.

Parking near the gate on the carriage road, I donned my snowshoes - while the frozen granular and ice surfaces would have otherwise warranted Microspikes, I planned to do some light bushwhacking in the higher elevations and had no interest in lugging my snowshoes on my pack.

The water crossing at the beginning of the trail was a bit tricky due to the recent rain. Beyond there, it was fairly smooth sailing up to the ridge. While the skies were still mostly cloudy, I could see blue sky appearing in places. Views were fairly strong in all directions, though the clouds obscured the distance western horizon a bit.

After passing over the summit, I continued south in hopes of finding a good sunset perspective. While I found a few halfway decent places, I found none of them satisfactory (nor did I find the impending display, or lack thereof, too promising). Heading back toward the summit, I lightly bushwhacked westward and found myself on some very nice ledges with a perfect view of the bland sunset display. While there were some nice colors to the south, they were too dim for the camera to capture.

With cold winds blowing, I decided to not linger overly long after the sunset. The waning moon almost full, I was able to walk down without needing a headlamp.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Piper Mountain
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Moderate
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Hike Commenced: 3:51 PM
Parking Elevation: 1,030'
Destination: Piper Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 3:53 PM
Summit Reached: 4:27 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:34
Trailhead Elevation: 1,010'
Summit Elevation: 2,044'
Vertical Gain: 1,064'
Hike Ended: 5:40 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 01:49
Hike Vertical Gain: 1,264'


The Piper Mountain Trail trailhead on the Carriage Road
The Piper Mountain Trail trailhead on the Carriage Road

Looking at Lake Winnipesaukee from near the Piper Mountain summit - Click to enlarge
Looking at Lake Winnipesaukee from near the Piper Mountain summit

Slight sunset colors around Kearsarge Mountain as seen from near the summit of Piper Mountain - Click to enlarge
Slight sunset colors around Kearsarge Mountain as seen from near the summit of Piper Mountain




Directions to trailhead: From Route 11A East (from Route 3), take a right on Hoyt Road. Continue down this road as it becomes Belknap Mountain Road. Look for Carriage Road on your left. There is a small parking lot just before the gate. Trailhead is down the road a bit, on the right after a small bridge.

Back to Piper Mountain Profile




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