We recently hiked up Piper Mountain, which is part of the Belknap Mountain Range just south of Belknap Mountain. Piper Mountain has two peaks in close proximity, both a south and north, the south being the prominent one at 2,044 feet. There’s a ton of info regarding the trail network for this mountain as well as others in the Belknap Range at belknaprangetrails.org/. On this site you can find detailed trail descriptions and a great 11x17 pdf map of the range.
View from Piper Mountain's North Peak
We hiked the mountain starting from the Belknap Mountain Carriage Road upper parking area. From here, we hiked a short distance down the carriage road about 0.2 miles until the White Trail entered the woods to the south (just after the bridge). This trail descends gently over nicely groomed trails for a short distance into the col between Piper and Belknap. Here, it splits at a junction with the Old Piper Trail.
Walk down the Carriage Road. The trailhead for the White Trail is just over the bridge on the left.
White Trail Trailhead
The Old Piper Trail veers to the right and continues with orange blazes through mostly hardwood. The trail, like much of the Beklnap Range trail network, is nicely groomed and maintained. The forest slowly gives way to shorter trees and ledge footing with some decent views to the northeast.
Soon, the trail turns to open ledges with great views to the east at the north peak. This location is also the end of the Old Piper Trail and beginning of the Piper-Whiteface Link Trail. We continued over the ledges, through blueberry scrub to the true summit at the south peak. The views were better on the north peak so we back tracked there for lunch.
View from the first set of ledges
The north peak had a great view of Belknap Mountain with the cell tower and fire tower in visible. There were also nice views of Mount Suncook, Mount Klem and Mount Mack. Also, there was a body of water poking out from behind some peaks. I think it was Round Pond, but may have been portions of Alton Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. There was also a great view of a mountain to the West, but I did not have a map that had terrain that far enough out to identify it.
Stone Thrown that has been on the north peak for many years
Belknap Mountain, cell tower and fire tower visible although didn't show up in this photo
Zoom in of fire tower on Belknap
Close up of either Round Pond or portions of Alton Bay
View to the west
Zoom in of a mountain to the northwest, not sure which one...maybe Cardigan???
Zoom in of what I believe to be Mount Kearsarge to the west
We headed back down the same way ascended making the round trip about 2.4 miles. This was a great, short hike with rewarding views. I highly recommend it as family friendly, especially for small kids.
GPS vs. Map
Signage from the trek