The Bee Line Trail runs from the Old Paugus Trail on the south ridge of Mt Paugus to the Brook Trail on the upper west ledges of Mt Chocorua, linking the two mountains almost by a “bee line”. Although the trail was originally designed to provide a direct route between the summits, nowadays it is most frequently used to ascend to or descend from one of the peaks rather than as a connector between them.
History: The Bee Line Trail is an old logging road which the locals continued to use as a means to get from the Bolles Trail to the summit after the loggers left the area.
The Bee Line Trail is maintained by the Chocorua Mountain Club (CMC).
Mt Paugus is low but surprisingly rugged, and is mostly overlooked by hikers. Mt Paugus devotees enjoy its wild aura, interesting trails, and excellent views from the ledges just below its 3,198-ft. south summit. The 19th century naturalist Frank Bolles was perhaps the mountain’s biggest fan, affectionately calling it “Old Shag” and writing about it extensively in his 1893 classic, At the North of Bearcamp Water.
Directions to the trailhead on Paugus Mill Road: Follow above directions to the Liberty Trail.
Trail distances & hiking times from the Paugus Mill Rd parking area (900′):
- to Mt Chocorua summit (3490′) via the Bolles Trail, Been Line Trail, and Brook Trail: 4.3 mi., 2600 ft., 3 hr. 25 min.
- to ledge near Mt Paugus summit (3198′): 3.8 mi., 2250 ft., 3 hr.
Trail details to Mt Chocorua summit: The trail leaves the Bolles Trail to the east and ascends gradually on an old logging road along the bank of a small brook. After crossing this brook at 0.7 mi. and 1.1 mi., the trail enters the Mt Chocorua Forest Protection Zone (signs). It ascends moderately away from the brook, becoming gradually steeper as it enters a mixed softwood forest. At 1.4 mi. the trail bears right off the former route and traverses the wooded slope, climbing moderately, until it reached its junction with the Brook Trail at 1.7 mi., just above its lowest semi-open ledge. From here it is 0.4 mi. to the junction of the Liberty Trail and 0.6 mi. to the summit of Mt Chocorua.
Trail details to ledge near Mt Paugus summit: Leaving the Bolles Trail to the west, the Bee Line Trail soon crosses the Paugus Brook, enters the Sandwich Range Wilderness, and runs over a narrow ridge. At 0.2 mi., the Bee Line Cutoff departs left (southeast), providing a shortcut to Paugus Mill Rd. The Bee Line Trail crosses a small brook and climbs by increasingly steep grades up the side of the mountain, making some use of old lumber roads, to the Old Paugus Trail near the top of the ridge, 1.1 mi. from the Bolles Trail and 0.7 mi. below the junction with the Lawrence Trail on the ledge near the summit of Mt Paugus. An interesting view can be obtained by descending the southwest side of the ledge for a short distance.
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