Even on a hot and humid summer day, this route is the perfect antidote for those looking to take a day off from the lake and get into the woods. This is mostly due to the tightly growing pine and maple trees that shadow this hike's entirety.
If you're looking for a route with non-stop views, this is not for you. If you're looking for some delayed gratitude, however, the hike's only view (at the summit) will not disappoint.
Be wary of slippery rocks and roots, especially after rain.
Once you've reached the end of Moose Mountain Road in your vehicle, you have two options to start this hike:
- Park your vehicle at the pull off on the left-hand side of the road (look for the small red shed).
- Or, park your vehicle at the main Copple Crown trailhead.
Personally, I see no need to park at the lower parking area unless you're looking to add more distance, or the road is unpassable (could be possible in Winter). If you do choose to park at the lower parking area, take the dirt road heading off to the right, Woodman Hill Road
. The road is marked as such, but the sign will be hard to find, especially in the Summer months, just use the Hiking Project mobile app
From there, continue southwest, bypassing the less-obvious looking offshoots, and follow the road's bend to the northwest. Eventually, you'll reach Copple Crown Trail
proper, and the hike is quite obvious from there.
From the main trailhead, head due almost directly north on Woodman Hill Rd - Hanson Rd Connector
. After traveling ~0.4 miles, you'll intersect with Woodman Hill Road
. Turn left here like the signs tell you to and follow this road all the way to Copple Crown Trail
. A few side trails will present themselves, but as long as you stay straight, or use the Hiking Project mobile app
, you'll be fine.
Like most dirt roads in New England, this section involves wide tracks filled with cobble-sized rocks, poor drainage (standing water), and undulating terrain. In addition, the road is lined by stone walls historically used to delineate farming properties.
After ~1.2 miles of doubletrack hiking, you'll finally have reached Copple Crown Trail
and from here, the hike is very easy to follow. Marked by blue blazes, the trail dives straight into the Copple Crown Conservation Area and a dense conifer forest.
At first, Copple Crown Trail
rises slightly, then falls gradually into a small drainage. Don't be fooled, however, as this hike has only begun! After crossing an ephemeral stream, the path begins to steepen. Follow the obvious blue blazes as the trail switchbacks around cascading water features, through granite boulder fields, and up the rooty slopeside.
Eventually, after some huffing and puffing, you'll finally reach an intersection with the Copple Crown East Peak Trail
. Unless you intend to hit both summits, stay right and motor your way to the top of Copple Crown!
Though the summit area itself is small the views are massive. To your left you'll see Lake Winnipesaukee and to your right you'll see Lake Wentworth. Of course, the White Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for these pristine lakes. Enjoy!
Orchids and ferns are present throughout the Copple Crown singletrack portion, making for an enchanting experience. In addition, maple and pine trees grow in tight quarters in this area, which makes for abundant shade. Keep an eye out for blueberry bushes at and near the summit.