Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Middle Sister

So many times we've driven up Route 16 through Ossipee and Tamworth and on north for hikes in the White Mountains. Until recently, we never stopped to hike The Piper Trail or Carter Ledge Trail to Mt. Chocorua and the Three Sisters, trails that begin a stone's through from Route 16. Finally, we stopped and hiked. Last Saturday Srini hiked the Piper Trail-Carter Ledge Trail loop with Henna and Kodi. Today we parked at the White Ledge (National Forest) campground and hiked the Carter Ledge-Middle Sister Trails. Srini promised spectacular views based on his hiking experience a week ago.
We chose the White Ledge campground trailhead and purposely avoided hiking the Piper Trail and doing an ascent of Mt. Chocorua since that is one of the most popular hikes in the White Mountains. We opted for something quieter but that still provided great views. Although I might be remiss in telling this little secret, we had spectacular views along the Carter Ledge Trail and atop Middle Sister and on the entire 8.6-mile, 6-hour hike we crossed paths with only 8 people on a Saturday in August. And Henna and Kodi had a great time.
The Carter Ledge Trail passes through an uncommon stand of Jack pine and the ledgy outcrops offer spectacular views of Mt. Chocorua along the way.
Looking up at Mt. Chocorua (left) and the Middle Sister (right).
Henna and Srini heading up the Carter Ledge Trail.
A view of the southern spine of Mt. Chocorua and a peek at Chocorua Lake just beyond.
Henna and Srini on the Carter Ledge Trail (Mt. Washington in the distance)
Henna is still in training. On this hike we let her off leash for more than half the hike and she did well. Fortunately we did not see a moose or other big animal as she still likes to chase them. She is fairly well-bonded to Kodi so does not stray too far from her pack now.
Kodi is now more than 4 years old and moves slower than Henna. Plus he likes to stick close to the treats that the humans carry. Atop Middle Sister we paused to take in the 360 degree views and to enjoy a lunch break.

Srini, Henna, and Kodi atop Middle Sister
Mt. Chocorua as seen from Middle Sister
A view west from Middle Sister: Mt. Passaconaway
 and the Tripyramids in the center of the photo.
The Carter Ledge Trail from the White Ledge campground to the top of Middle Sister provides one of the most spectacular views in all of the White Mountains and few people opt for this route. Just keep this secret between us.

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