Exploring Mount Chocorua

Date of Hike: 7/4 & 7/5

7/4: Champney Falls Trail: 3.2 miles  /  Piper Trail: 0.6 miles  / Liberty Trail: 0.2 miles  /  Brook Trail: 0.5 miles  /  Bee Line Trail: 1.7 miles  /  Bolles 3.8 miles 
(10.0 miles, 3,200 elevation gain)

7/5: Carter Ledge Trail: 3.7 miles  /  Middle Sister Trail 3.3 miles  /  Carter Ledge Trail: 1.1 miles
(8.0 miles 2,500 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- Alton, Cole, and I decided to spend a hot, hazy, and humid fourth of July exploring some new trails as we hiked up Mount Chocorua.  We decided to make a loop using the well traveled Champney Falls Trail and the lightly used Bolles Trail.
- The highlight of the Champney Falls trail is Pitcher and Champney Falls.  It is a popular destination so there were lots of people around as we made our way to the falls.  The trail had some brook crossings and water-bars for Cole to cool off in so he was happy splashing and running around.  Cole, still is a little skittish of hikers but loves dogs so whenever he would see one he'd walk over and say hello and then not want to leave.  Alton would have to take him by the collar and lead him up the trail away from the dog.
- We took a nice little break at Pitcher Falls and the mist from the waterfall was refreshing and a nice escape from the heat.
- After heading past both of the falls we made our way up to the open ledges leading to the summit of Mount Chocorua.  It was very hot out, luckily some of the rocks had puddles with water so Cole would drink the water when he was hot.  With Alton leading the way we made our way up to the summit and took a nice long break before starting part two of our hike.
- We dropped down more open ledges via the Liberty and Brook Trails until banging a right into the woods on the Bee Line Trail.  The Bee Line Trail starts off steep, with some rough footing but soon becomes more gradual with excellent footing.  We did a little trail running until we hit a small brook crossing where we all cooled off.  We repeated this until making it to the Bolles Trail, where we took a nice long break in the brook to cool off.
- The Bolles Trail is in the middle of nowhere.  We saw a guy wearing Crocs with a hound dog, his leash was an old rope and he may or may not have been on drugs  and he really didn't want anything to do with us!  Cole, on the other hand, was fascinated with the hound dog so for a few tenths of a mile he kept running ahead trying to catch up with them but noticed we weren't running so he would wait for us, then run up ahead, he kept repeating this until the hound dog was out of site.
- The Bolles Trail ends up falling apart near a sandy brook crossing, we lost the trail but ended up on a herd path.  Alton lead the way up the path that took us up towards the height of land, dumping us back on the trail a few tenths of a mile before cresting.
- We ran into a couple of other not so enthusiastic hikers as we rumbled down the trail back towards the Kanc.  The Bolles Trail crosses Twin Brook ten times on it's way back to the Kanc.  The trail is an eroded mess in spots but we had a blast jumping in and out of all the stream crossings.  Cole would cool his paws off at each crossing and Alton and I would just walk through the water cooling our paws off as well.
- We made it back to the car just after 3 p.m. and headed down the Kanc a little ways before finding a nice spot along the Swif River to jump in, cool off, and clean up Cole.

 Champney Falls Trailhead
 Trail Information
 Cole crossing Twin Brook
 Cole makes a friend at Pitcher Falls
 Champney Falls Trail Staircase
 Heading up the Piper Trail
 Piper Trail
 Cole heading up to the summit
 Mount Chocorua
 Alton scrambling up a rock
 View from Mount Chocorua
 Alton heading up to Mount Chocorua
 View to the Southeast
 Looking back to the 'Sisters'
 Sandwich Wilderness
 Mount Pagus, Passaconaway, Whiteface
 Brook Trail Junction
 Looking off towards Silver Lake
 Cole Contemplating his next move
Bee Line Trail Junction 
 Bee Line Trail
 Bolles / Bee Line Trail Junction
 Sandwich Wilderness Boundary
 Bolles Trail
 Alton walking through the mud
 Cole hiking along the Bolles Trail
 Old Logging-camp clearing
 Right before we lost the trail
 Alton leading a bushwhack
 Cooling the paws off
 Taking a bath in the Twin Brook
 The Bolles Trail
 Bolles / Champney Falls Trail Junction

Day Two
- On Friday we got on the trail early to beat the heat.  We headed up the Carter Ledge Trail and out the Middle Sister Trail.  Unfortunately, the heat was already horrible at 8 a.m. and the bugs were out in full force from the beginning.
- The hike up the ledges as you ascend towards Middle Sister is a great little hike, it's steep at times, but there are numerous views from the many open ledges.  We were able to enjoy the views from one of the ledges as there was a breeze that blew the bugs away.  There are excellent views up and over to Mount Chocorua and cool views to the east and southeast into the valley where there are numerous lakes in view.
- Once back in the woods every kind of flying bug known to the animal kingdom was buzzing around us, including one bad-ass wasp that looked like it had body armor on.  Eventually, I was able to swat it with my hat and it left us alone.
- The Carter Ledge Trail gains the ridge a few tenths of a mile below the summit, we opted out of heading up to the left and back down to the summit and just banged a right onto the Middle Sister Trail.  A few minutes later we came to a nice open ledge and took a break before booking it down through the woods back to the trailhead.  Along the way Cole got spooked and refused to move, we went ahead and he bushwhacked off the trail until past the spot where he was spooked before jumping back onto the trail
- The last three miles were spent trail running because we just wanted to get back to the car and get something refreshing to drink from Dunkin Donuts.  Cole lead the way, we couldn't keep up with him and whenever he heard water he'd take off and we wouldn't see him until the next brook crossing, where he'd be playing in the water!
- We made it back to the car, both in good shape, but a little off from the heat and humidity.  Still, the three of us had a blast!

 White Ledge Campground parking for the trails
 Carter Ledge / Nickerson Ledge Trail Junction
Cole taking a break 
 Cole heading up the Carter Ledge Trail with Mount Chocorua behind him
 Carter Ledge Trail
 Carter Ledge Trail
 Cole hiking on the Carter Ledge Trail
 View from the ledges
 Mount Chocorua
 Mount Chocorua
 Carter Ledge Trail
 Cole getting a drink
 Cole cooling off
 Carter Ledge Trail
 Carter Ledge Trail
 View from Carter Ledge 
 Middle Sister Trail
 Cole, spooked and refusing to move
Running down the Middle Sister Trail 
 Cole cooling off
 Shaking it!
 Cole tired but happy
Alton sharing her water with Cole

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