Champney Falls Trail (USFS)
The Champney Falls Trail is a popular trail that runs from the Kancamagus Highway to the Piper Trail in the flat saddle between Mt Chocorua and the Three Sisters. The trail has moderate grades all the way. Along the way, a loop path diverges left off the trail to beautiful Champney Falls and Pitcher Falls. The best waterfall viewing occurs during wet times of year.
History: The Champney Falls Trail is named for Benjamin Champney, pioneer White Mountain Artist (1817-1907). This trail was originally built by Prof. J.S. Pray and re-cleared by the Chocorua Mountain Club. In 1915, the part of trail above Champney Falls was destroyed by fire and the ground rendered so treacherous that a relocation was necessary. This relocation was completed in the summer of 1919.
Maintenance: The Champney Falls Trail is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
Caution: Many of the ledges in the area around the falls are very slippery; there have been many serious accidents in this vicinity.
Directions to the trailhead: The trail begins at the Champney Falls Parking Lot (the sign says “Champney Brook Trail”) on the Kancamagus Highway (Rt. 112), 10 miles west of its junction with Route 16.
Trail distances & estimated hiking times from the trailhead:
- to Champney Falls Loop (1780′): 1.4 mi., 500 ft., 55 min.
- to Piper Trail (3200′): 3.2 mi., 1950 ft., 2 hs., 35 min.
- to Mt. Chocorua summit (3490′): 3.8 mi., 2250 ft., 3 hr.
Trail Details: The Champney Falls Trail begins by the information board in the parking area. After crossing the footbridge over Twin Brook, the trail turns sharply to the right. Follow the gradual grade of an old logging road to Champney Brook. At 1.4 miles, a loop trail will branch off on the left to scenic Champney and Pitcher Falls. In .3 miles the loop will reconnect with the Champney Falls Trail, which becomes steeper. The first set of switchbacks is reached at 2.4 miles. At 3.0 miles the Middle Sister cutoff leads to the Middle Sister Trail. The Champney Falls Trail will reach a saddle and pass the Middle Sister Trail on the left. Soon the Champney Falls Trail ends at the junction of the Piper Trail, which will lead you to the summit in .06 mile.
Loop hike options: From the summit, descend via the Bee Line Trail to the Bolles Trail. Turn right onto the Bolles Trail and return to the parking area where you began.
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