- Driving Distance: 85 miles
- Hiking Distance: 8 miles round trip
- Difficulty Level: Moderate
Head north on 91, and travel as if you were going to the lodge (exit 91 in Fairlee, get on 25A, turn left at the T onto 25 north, take a right onto 118 just past Warren). Continue onto 118 until it ends at 112. Take a right onto 112 east, which becomes the Kancamangus Highway. After 28 miles on the Kanc, look for Champney Falls trailhead on the right. Park here.
Follow the Champney Falls trail south until it ends at the intersection of the Piper Trail and Middle Sister Trail. There is a cutoff about halfway up the Champney Falls trail to go see the waterfall, which is only a little bit longer and well worth taking. Piper Trail leads directly to the summit of Chocorua, Middle Sister trail takes a longer route which goes over Middle Sister, then heads over to Chocorua. Both peaks have fantastic views.
This hike is one of the best view-to-work ratios to be found in the Whites. The climb is only ~2000ft, and the summit is completely bald, unlike many much higher peaks. According to legend, the summit was once forested, but bears a curse which will forever prevent trees from growing there. Wikipedia's version of the legend is:
"About 1720 Chocorua was on friendly terms with settlers and, in particular, the Campbell family that had a home in the valley now called Tamworth. Chocorua was called away and left his son in the care of the Campbell family. The boy found and drank a poison that Mr. Campbell had made to eliminate troublesome foxes, and Chocorua returned to find his son had died. Chocorua, distraught with grief, pledged revenge on the family. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Campbell returned home one afternoon to find his wife and children had been slain. Campbell suspected Chocorua and pursued him up the mountain that today bears his name. Chocorua was wounded by a shot from Campbell's rifle. Before Campbell could reach Chocorua, he uttered a curse upon the white settlers and their homes, livestock, and crops, and leapt from the summit to his death."
White Mountain Guide