Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,747.00 ft (837.29 m)
Trail type
8.70 mi (14.00 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This loop begins at the Piper Trailhead off of NH 16 and takes you over the open summits of Middle Sister and Mount Chocorua. There is a day use fee for parking at the Piper Trailhead.

Begin your hike following the Piper Trail for 1.2 miles until you reach the junction with the Nickerson Ledge Trail. Follow the Nickerson Ledge Trail right for 0.8 miles to meet the Carter Ledge Trail. The Nickerson Ledge Trail climbs relatively steeply for 0.2 miles to Nickerson Ledge (on the right side of the trail) where there is a southern view of the Ossipee Range. The trail then continues gradually to the junction with the Carter Ledge Trail. The Carter Ledge Trail brings you to the summit of Middle Sister, with many views from the open ledges along the way. The trail climbs steeply through the woods until reaching the ledge that has several viewpoints. From here you can see the summits of Middle Sister and Mount Chocorua. The trail continues with more outlooks and ascends a few ledges, some which require a bit of scrambling, that can be difficult when wet or icy. Carter Ledge Trail then intersects the Middle Sister Trail for the remaining 0.3 miles to the summit of Middle Sister. The summit provides an excellent view of Mount Chocorua as well as the surrounding peaks to the north and south. 

Continue following the Middle Sister Trail to head towards the summit of Mount Chocorua. The trail descends from Middle Sister across ledges and passes the Champney Falls Cutoff and descends to its junction with the Champney Falls and Piper Trails. Follow the Piper Trail for another 0.6 miles to reach the summit. The Piper Trail soon emerges from the woods onto the ridge and open ledges that lead to the summit of Chocorua. A bit of scrambling is involved to ascend the summit cone. The open summit of Mount Chocorua provides amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding White Mountain National Forest to the north and Chocorua Lake to the south.

To finish the loop, trace your steps back on the Piper Trail. Upon reaching the junction with Champney Falls and Middle Sister trail, turn right to continue on the Piper Trail to return to the parking area. After 2.4 miles you will reach the junction with the Nickerson Ledge Trail, and from there you will retrace the 1.2 miles back to the parking lot.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day use fee

Open Year-round



Two open summits with scenic views.


Busy trail.

Trailhead Elevation

774.00 ft (235.92 m)

Highest point

3,478.00 ft (1,060.09 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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