DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2791 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

hiking
5 months ago

I did most of the Hammond side of the trail (Piper-Weetamoo-Hammond-Liberty) Friday night and Saturday morning, to test some new cold weather gear at Jim Liberty Cabin. It was pitch dark by the time I got to Piper trailhead, but the trail was no problem by headlamp. Hammond and Liberty were starting to get icy in spots, so definitely bring Hillsound or Kahtoola spikes along. In the dead of winter real crampons may be better above the treeline.
I got to Liberty Cabin around 8pm, after about a 3 hour hike up. It was comfy enough considering the outside temp was maybe 15F with 30+mph wind, but there are 2 windows with broken panes that I didn’t notice at first. After I closed the inside shutters the temp inside didn’t go up, but it didn’t drop much further either. It sure would have been nice if the chimney had a little fireplace!
My original plan was to summit before dawn to get pics of the sunrise, but the sleeping bag was so warm there was no way I was getting out of it at 5am to face the cold and wind! Heading back down in the morning there was more ice on the trails, but secure footing on either side in most cases. Before leaving enjoy the view of the summit above the cabin, it’s very picturesque on a clear day. Being the first time I’ve traveled Weetamoo Trail during daylight I was absolutely dumbstruck at the size of Weetamoo Rock - it almost looks like a mountain all its own! Less than a mile along Weetamoo the trail became smoother and stayed that way all the way to Piper and the trailhead. You’ll hear the Chocorua River in the draw below you for quite some time before coming to it. There’s a huge jumble of rocks and downed tree trunks where the trail crosses the river, and once you cross it (very easy for klutzy me even in the dark with a 35lb pack) you’re almost home.
Mt Chocorua is just an awesome hike no matter how many times you’ve done it. You get views to rival those from the Presidentials without the strenuous climbs, but you still have to work for it. It’s kind of my go-to mountain for longer weekend day hikes.