Friday, November 20, 2020

Chocorua River Headwaters: 11/19/20


A cold November day for a bushwhack into the ravine at the head of the north branch of the Chocorua River, on the east side of the Three Sisters. I visited several features of water, ice and rock - including "Chocorua Falls," an unusual overhang and an icy swath of ledge that might be the upper end of an old slide.

 The approach was made via a 2.2 mile hike up the historic Piper Trail, which dates back to the 1870s.

This is a well-built trail, and a pleasure to hike.


Love the bare November woods.


Smooth footing on this section.

Looking up at Mt. Chocorua and the Sisters from an off-trail viewpoint.

Chocorua's Horn.


Footbridge over the Chocorua River, a mountain stream.


Farther up the trail, I made a steep bushwhack down into the ravine of the brook.

The north branch of Chocorua River, high in the valley.

A nice swath of hardwood forest on the valley floor.

This may be the runout from an old slide down the ravine, which could explain some of the rock features seen above.


Approaching the first cascade.

A lovely stepped cascade. Getting around this required some steep bushwhacking.

More ledges farther upstream.

Almost a profile.

Approaching a feature named "Chocorua Falls" on a 1949 Chocorua Mountain Club map prepared by legendary tramper Arthur C. Comey. I’ve never seen the name on any other map.

Chocorua Falls, closer up. This was my third visit here.

More steep sidehill whacking.

Side view of the falls.

Broad ledge steps above the falls.

Icy expanse.


From the brink, a peek at Carter Ledge.

Dry ledge patch for a late lunch.

Farther upstream is a remarkable rock overhang.

Mother Nature's version of the Ice Castles.

Note the tree growing under the roof.

I continued up to an open swath of ice-coated ledge on the headwall of the ravine.

Icy steps.

A frothy mix of water and ice.

Has the look of a slide - which is exactly what one would do if stepping out here.

Top of the slide, my turn-around point as it was nearing 3:00 pm.

Zoom on Carter Ledge, which overlooks the upper Chocorua River valley.

 Google Earth image of the ravine, with Chocorua Falls and the upper ledge swath visible.


  1. Wow gorgeous lil set of falls! Also, your knowledge of 'off-trail' viewpoints is pretty impressive

  2. I imagine that you had to tread gingerly on the sides of the stream. And that amphitheatre--wow!