Old Paugus Trail (CMC)
This trail runs to the south knob of Mt Paugus from the Bolles Trail 0.7 mi. from the Paugus Mill Rd. parking area. Portions of the trail are very steep and rough, with poor footing, and may be dangerous in wet or icy conditions.
The Old Paugus Trail is maintained by the Chocorua Mountain Club (CMC).
Mount 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 Paugus Mill Rd trailhead: Turn on to Chocorua Lake Road off of Rt. 16, and cross over the Narrows Bridge between Chocorua Lake and Little Chocorua Lake. Follow this dirt road for 1.0 mile and take a left fork up a hill onto Fowlers Mill Road. Follow Fowlers Mill Road for 2.4 miles where you will see a sign on your right for the Liberty and Brook Trails. Turn right onto Paugus Mill Road and follow it for a mile to the end where you will find a parking lot and both trailheads. Please respect private property on the way to the parking area.
Trail distances & hiking times from the Paugus Mill Rd parking area (900′):
- to ledges near Mt Paugus summit (3198′) at Lawrence Trail junction: 2.8 mi., 2150 ft., 2 hr. 30 min.
Trail details to Mt Paugus ledges: From the Paugus Mill Rd. parking area, follow the Bolles Trail for 0.7 mi. until you come the junction with the Old Paugus Trail and Bickford Path. Take the Old Paugus Trail along with the Bickford Path, and the two trails cross the Whitin Brook together, then the Bickford Path diverges left 20 yd. beyond the brook. The Old Paugus Trail continues along Whitin Brook, crosses it at 0.7 mi., then turns right at 1.0 mi. as the Whitin Brook Trail continues straight ahead along the brook. The trail now climbs steeply, passes a junction left with the Big Rock Cave Trail at 1.3 mi., climbs a steep gully, then swings right along the base of a rock face and climbs steadily through a spruce forest to the junction right with the Bee Line Trail at 2.1 mi. It ascends sharply, passes an outlook on the right (sign), then eases up and passes the site of the former Old Shag Camp. Soon it crosses a small brook and climbs to the south knob. Here the Old Paugus Trail ends and the Lawrence Trail continues ahead. An interesting view can be obtained by descending the southwest side of the ledge for a short distance.
To support our efforts to preserve the Chocorua Lake Basin and provide public access to visitors to the lake and nearby conservation lands, please click HERE.