Abandoned Ski Trails on Mt Chocorua
In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps did work on at least two ski trails on Mount Chocorua, though neither remain maintained for alpine skiing today. The Jim Liberty Cabin, located at the top of the ski trails, is still actively used by both summer and winter visitors.
Liberty Trail: Dating back to the 1800s, the Liberty Trail is a historic hiking trail up Mt. Chocorua, terminating at Paugus Mill. In 1933, the Liberty Trail was improved for alpine skiing up to the Halfway House. While it is unknown if the CCC officially took part in this phase, they did improve the trail for alpine skiing up to the Jim Liberty Cabin (newly rebuilt by USFS in 1934) in 1937. While the trail is still open for hiking, it is no longer as wide as backcountry ski trails tend to be. In addition, the access road to the bottom of the trail is not plowed in winter.
Trail Specifications: Novice and Intermediate. Speed limit, about 20 miles an hour. Length 3.5 miles, width 12′-30′, vertical descent 2000′, max grade 13. Snow needed, 10″-12″. Cabin at top, with stove and bunks.
Chocorua East Ski Trail (abandoned): The Chocorua East Side Trail was opened around 1934, described as a “wide, steep cut in the forest.” The top of the trail was originally located 1/3 of a mile below the Jim Liberty Cabin, perhaps near the junction of the Liberty and Hammond hiking trails. By 1941, the trail was abandoned and the Tamworth Outing Club deemed the trail to be ‘not recommended.’ It is possible that this trail may have been considered to be on subpeak “Bald Mountain” rather than Mt. Chocorua in some publications.
Trail Specifications: Experts only. Length 2.75 miles, width 25′-50′, vertical descent 2100′, max grade 34. Snow needed, 24″ at top, 8″-10″ lower.
For more information, please visit www.newenglandskihistory.com/cccskitrails/NewHampshire/mtchocorua.php.
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