Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Whiteface Mountain, Piper Mountain, NH
Trails: Whiteface Mountain Trail, unnamed trail, climber's path, bushwhack, Vista Trail, Piper-Whiteface Link
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the end of Belknap Mountain Road. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: No issues. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: One large blowdown along WMT on the ridge, between the intermediate bump and the summit of Whiteface. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Sure. There's also the matter of the dogs that live near the trailhead. This is the second time I've been approached by them. One wanted to play which was fine, the other was more aggressive which was not fine. I'd suggest that people control their dogs, but it would fall on deaf ears. 
Bugs: A few. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nothing. 
Comments: Some off-the-radar exploration in the Belknaps today, to try and find an old trail.

Easy going up to Whiteface. The trail was mostly dry with some areas of minor mud. The ridge is its usual torn up self. From the summit, I took the unnamed trail (marked with a small cairn) down to the very impressive south cliffs. This trail was mostly easy to follow, but gets a little more obscure down lower. Excellent views from an outlook above the cliffs. I descended until I found a climber's path which took me right to the base of the cliffs. Lots of fixed gear in place for climbers. A really neat spot and fairly secluded from the world.

After a steep climb back up to the summit. I took a compass bearing on the South Piper ledges and descended into the valley between Whiteface and Piper. My goal was to see if I could find the obscure red-dotted trail that is indicated on the Dave Roberts map between the two peaks. Bushwhacking was easy through open woods the whole way, and never overly steep, although the topo map makes it look very steep when approaching Piper. On the floor of the valley is a large logged area, and then the logging road which is shown on the DR map. If you follow this road north, it will eventually turn into a trail which connects to PWL on the ridge. I never really saw any evidence of the old trail corridor until I started to hit some open ledges as I climbed up to South Piper, where cairns started to appear. I followed these up to the VT, where the old trail meets it at a very nondescript junction about 0.1 mi. north of the ledges.

After a break at the ledges, I headed north on VT to the summit of Piper. I didn't stick around too long due to some very loud children. :/ From Piper, I headed down the ridge via PWL and then down WMT to my car.

From my observations, it's seems whatever there was of that old trail is now long gone, aside from that one section. Still, it was pretty cool to explore an area that many don't get to!  
Name: KenM 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2017-04-18 
Link: http:// 
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