View Full Version : Jim Liberty Cabin, Camp Penacook, and Piper Trail Question

02-05-2005, 10:20 PM
I have been in a mental argument with myself about where to go on the weekend of 2/29. I've done a lot of reading and I think I've decided on Mt. Chocorua via Piper Trail.

I have a few questions just to help prepare myself more.

- The book says Jim Liberty Cabin is locked. How is the key acquired? If it can be how much $?
- Is Piper Trail usually packed down in winter? I don't own snow shoes and really don't want to rent them. If there is another trail up that someone knows that is def packed down let me know.
- Is Camp Penacook in good condition?
- Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions, miss for me about this trip?

02-06-2005, 11:23 AM
The last time I was at the Jim's cabin it wasn't locked, but that was Fall. However I would enquire at the Forest Service HQ at the Conway end of the Kanc. They would be the ones that keep the keys if in fact it is locked.

Camp Penacook no longer exists.

The preferred trial up Chocorua seems to be the Champney Falls Trail. However if you are going up Rte 16 to check with the rangers you go right past the Piper trailhead and it will be easy to check for evidence of recent activity. I would take the C Falls trail since it seems to be constantly packed out. Either way, you will have to skirt around the Western side of the summit to get to the cabin from Piper or C Falls.

Say hello to old Jim for me.

02-06-2005, 11:42 AM
Thank you for the info!

02-06-2005, 01:46 PM
Hmm, my bad. Camp Penacook may be there after all. Since it's a lean-to and platforms. I thought it was slated for removal. Jim's cabin is my preference since it sits in a rather nice location high up on the mountain.

02-07-2005, 12:36 PM
The Chocorua cabin was open last March. It is available on a first come first served basis. That ranger district also has other cabins, Doubletop and Black Mountain notably, that are available by reservation only. I haven't been to those two but I believe they may be suitable for skiing enthusiasts, too.

02-07-2005, 01:17 PM
You're going to have a hard time going anywhere on 2/29 this year :rolleyes:

About 10 years ago I stayed at the Liberty Cabin in March and it was not locked at that time. I went up the Champney Falls trail and it was well packed out, but my friends and I post holed quite often due to the warm temps and melting snow. The cabin is on a first come first serve basis and there's about 10 or 12 bunks to sleep on. There was an outhouse about 100 yards down the trail too, however I'm not sure if it's still there. Someone who has visited more recently can answer that question. Also, there is no water supply near the cabin (other than melting snow) so you'll have to carry what you need.

I'd suggest carrying a tent just in case the cabin is locked or full.

Have a good time, it's a great location to visit.

02-07-2005, 01:44 PM
food bag raids might be a problem...there are bunches of four-legged, redheads with attitude in both locations. If you aren't taking snowshoes you might want to stick with the Liberty Cabin.

Warning, it was a little stinky from some rude persons last summer...I have always avoided it...it is the easiest place to stay (folks seem to just go up for some beers, a sunset and the sunrise and then leave the result all over the place). Water will be scarce, but there will be plenty of snow drifted up in the trees.

If you do go to the Pennacook...and in case you want to use the outhouse, you might like a shovel to clear the door....it's in a bit of a snowdrift depending on the amount of cover. The shelter was in fine shape in October.

There's a stream about 120 yards west of the shelter...it's prolly frozen, but worth investigating.

02-09-2005, 06:55 PM
Hiked up Chocorua this morning via Champney falls trail. Went over sisters then Westside trail(bad weather trail) them up to top. All were well used with the exception of Westside trail where I had to brake trail in 1.5 feet of snow(trail not used much).
The Piper Trail TH parking lot is not plowed. But you can park at Dave's General Store on Rt 16 for a charge of $3. Adds extra 1/4 mile to hike. Piper trail did appear to be used looking down at upper end.
Jim Liberty cabin is not locked. It is tight from weather but maybe not mice.
The storm coming in tonite is forecast of 12 to 20". I booted it today but would not attempt it without snowshoes after the storm.

02-11-2005, 01:11 AM
I'm looking to head up Saturday morning 2/19 (not 2/29 oops, thanks Ten Peeks LOL) around 9am arriving at the TH of Chocorua around 11/11:30am. Headed up Liberty Trail, calling ahead to be sure the cabin is open as well Paugus Road accesable with snow conditions. Drop off most gear at Jim Liberty Cabin and headed up to Summit (as long as I don't hike too slow). Next day hang out on Summit for a little while hike down and go home.

It is a short trip, but if anyone would like to come along it would be great. I always hike solo and it would be nice to have a companion. There is a possibility of getting up there on Friday night and staying at the Hostel in N. Conway then getting early start on Saturday.

If you would like to come please PM me.

PS - Thanks for all the great info everyone. If anyone has been up after the snow another report on trail conditions would be great. I really don't want to rent snow shoes...

02-11-2005, 04:25 AM
Sounds like a plan. Paugus Mill Rd in past years has been plowed to last house on the road. That is about about 1/2 mile from TH parking lot. We have parked at that point. A nice loop is to include the Brook trail. Hopefully the trail will be packed down over the week before you go in. If not, snowshoes would be highly recomended and make the hike more enjoyable especially after the storm that is hammering NH mountains at present.

I'd drop in but I'll be over at Carter Notch that weekend.

02-11-2005, 08:29 AM
Champney Falls Trail seems to have higher usage and should have a better chance of being packed down. If trip reports have Liberty unpacked down then changing plans to Champney Falls. Will update before trip.

If there is anyone whom would like to come along I would be willing to discuss various route ideas.

02-16-2005, 10:32 PM
What are the trail conditions for Mt. Chocorua. What trail is packed out? I don't want to rent/use snow shoes.

Tramper Al
02-18-2005, 07:45 AM
I don't own snow shoes and really don't want to rent them. If there is another trail up that someone knows that is def packed down let me know.

I really don't want to rent snow shoes...

I don't want to rent/use snow shoes.

It's winter hiking, yes? So get snowshoes already.

Redfeather at REI.com (http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/47669865.htm?vcat=OUTLET_SSHP_SNOW_SPORTS_SA)
Atlas at STP (http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/base_no.71151/dept_id.L2~416/qx/product.htm)

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
-- Robert Frost (1915)

02-18-2005, 07:49 AM
After the wife, 3 kids, a car payment, rent, food, ect I'm a poor man. Plus I never minded hiking through 6 inches of powder snow. Anymore than that I will rent snow shoes, but I'd rather not have to. I believe it's my own business, but thanks for the concern.