Trail Name – Old Piper Trail
Trail Description: Mike Ware
From the Upper Carriage Road parking lot on Belknap Mt. descend the Carriage Road for 0.15 mi. to the lower terminus of Belknap White Trail on the left. Ascend the White Trail to the Old Piper Trail.
Old Piper Trail Description
The Old Piper Trail (blazed orange) starts in the Belknap Piper Col (elevation 1,800 ft.), where the White Trail (blazed white) diverges to the left (north) to Belknap Mountain Summit. In 100 yds. it intersects the Round Pond-Piper Link Trail (blazed green) and continues to the north summit of Piper Mountain (elev. 2044 ft.) at 0.5 mi. (elevation gain 244 ft).
Start up the Old Piper Trail following the orange blazes and arrows. The trail bears sharply to the right after leaving the Belknap Piper Col. In a short distance, the Round Pond-Piper Link Trail (blazed green) descends to the left. Continue following the Old Piper Trail along the gently ascending ridge then more steeply to a wet area with stepping stones here bearing left at a cairn/post to open ledges. This overlook area is marked by a large cairn where there is an open ledge above a large scree field. This vantage point has great views of several lakes including Manning and Sunset Lakes.
Leaving the overlook, it is 0.2 mi. to the north summit of Piper Mountain. The trail now ascends more steeply through ledge and woody areas (CAUTION; slippery when icy or wet). It then levels out before it exits the woods to the open north summit of Piper Mountain.
Of note, there are large cairns on the upper portion of the trail constructed to assist winter hikers to find the entrance into the woods when descending from the summit. These cairns are protected from tampering by NH Statues. The north summit of Piper Mountain is notable for its collection of stone benches and chairs created by hikers over the years. The true summit (the south summit) of Piper Mountain is 0.2 mi. south on the Piper-Whiteface Link Trail (blazed green).
Hiking time and distance from Belknap-Piper col (1800 ft.):
- to north summit of Piper Mt. (2044 ft.): 0.5 mi.(0.8 km), 250 ft. 20 min.