Copple Crown and East Peak

Mountains:  Copple Crown Mtn. (1868'), East Peak
Trails:  Copple Crown Trail, East Peak Spur
Region:  NH - Central East  
Lakes Region
Location:  Brookfield, NH
Rating:  Moderate  
Features:  Summit, views
Distance:  5.6 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1100 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 3:20  
Outing Duration:  Actual: 5:45   Typical: 4:30  
Season:  Spring
Hike Date:  04/19/2009 (Sunday)  
Last Updated:  08/07/2010  
Weather:  Sunny, 60ís at the base, 50ís at the summit
Author:  Bill Mahony
Companions:  My kids: Jennifer, Jessica, Joshua, Jacob

View from Copple Crown Mountain (photo by Bill Mahony)

Route Summary   

This hike leads to the summit of Copple Crown Mountain as well as a clifftop outlook on its eastern knob called East Peak. There are good views of Lake Winnipesaukee and other lakes, ponds, and surrounding mountains from outlooks on the summit and East Peak.

  • If you've parked at the plow-turnaround rather than driving all the way to the trailhead, then you must first bear left at the fork in the gravel road and walk 0.3 mile to reach the signed trailhead.
  • From the trailhead sign, walk through the woods for about 0.1 mile, then bear left onto a dirt road.
  • Follow the dirt road on easy grades, keeping to the main route and ignoring the side roads. You will be following a long-abandoned town road (possibly called "Woodman Hill Road"), flanked by stone walls. There is at least one cellar hole along this stretch.
  • After 1.2 miles on the dirt road, you will arrive at a Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) kiosk at a fork.
  • Beyond the kiosk, the trail will be blazed in blue. Bear left and follow the blue blazes and white signs up the mountain. This section of trail is well marked.
  • After 1.2 miles, you will come to a side path on the left signed "East Peak", which leads to the outlook on the eastern knob.
  • For now, keep going straight on the main trail for less than 0.1 mile until you reach a fork; we will visit East Peak on the way back.
  • Follow the left branch for 100 yards to reach a restricted outlook to the south then return to the fork.
  • Follow the right branch for less than 0.1 mile to reach the summit and just beyond it, a ledgy viewpoint.
  • After enjoying the summit views, retrace your steps for less than 0.1 mile on the main trail back to the East Peak spur.
  • Turn right and follow the spur for 0.2 mile to arrive at the clifftop outlook with views to the south.
  • Retrace your steps for 0.2 mile back to the main trail.
  • To return to the parking area, turn right and retrace the blue-blazed path for 1.2 miles, turn right again and retrace your steps on the dirt road for 1.2 miles, and then turn right once more into the woods for the final 0.1 mile.
  • Be sure to pay attention to blazes and signs, both on the way up and for the return trip, in order to avoid getting lost on intersecting paths.

Place         Split
Parking area (860') 0.0 0.0
LRCT kiosk (1100') 1.3 1.3
Jct. Copple Crown Trail/East Peak Spur 1.2 2.5
Copple Crown Mtn. summit (1868') 0.1 2.6
Jct. Copple Crown Trail/East Peak Spur 0.1 2.7
East Peak outlook 0.2 2.9
Jct. Copple Crown Trail/East Peak Spur 0.2 3.1
LRCT kiosk (1100') 1.2 4.3
Parking area (860') 1.3 5.6



Trail map of hike route to Copple Crown Mountain and East Peak (map by Webmaster)

Trail Guide   

For this outing to Copple Crown, I finally got my kids to do a hike with me without complaining that it was terrible the whole time. I tried to start relatively late so that we would have good conditions and that seemed to work well. I also planned to carry the bulk of the gear to help.

This hike is a good one for kids in the spring. As soon as we left the parking lot we saw some lonely patches of ice along the path/road, which made a good game of break-the-ice. About a half-mile farther along we made our way to one of the several streams that cross the road. The kids seem to enjoy the chance to redirect the water and play. This was a chance for me The 4 kids and the dog on the trail (photo by Bill Mahony) to pull out the pocket knife and start whittling the walking sticks I made for the youngest two. Well, that was a hit. The girls wanted walking sticks and they also wanted to try whittling. After a quick lesson the girls were anticipating our stops so they could get some knife time.

We reached the kiosk and I started to realize that this hike would not be as strenuous as I feared it would. The trail was climbing very gently and from here we started to see moose tracks in the muddy areas. The trail moved from road into wooded trail with many streams bubbling up straight out of the ground. The trail crosses streams several times and the crossings are very rocky with some great places to play in the water. We didn't make fast progress on this part of the trail, but everyone was having fun. The path started to get steeper and we rested more frequently as my 7-year-old was getting somewhat tired.

Soon we were hitting the base of the final ascent. The trail switched back and forth and the kids seemed to enjoy this part of the hike more. As we got to the peak everyone went off to the side of the trail to hit the actual "summit". We then enjoyed the north overlook view and had some lunch (and did more whittling).

After a fairly long break, we headed over to East Peak and the cliffs. The kids really enjoyed this part of the trip (despite adding 0.4 mile to the trip). The trail rises to the top of a cliff and just for fun one of my daughters and I decided to head to the bottom while the others stayed at the top. We explored the bottom and waved to the "top". We then skirted right along the wall of the cliff to the side and back to the top. After playing here for a bit more we started the trek down from the mountain.

The return trip was much quicker and probably only took an hour (downhill of course). We spread out as a group and the stops were less frequent and shorter. We made it back to the car just as some of us were getting tired. My new pack worked well carrying a full set of dayhike gear so I was happy.

The ledges of East Peak (photo by Bill Mahony) At the summit of Copple Crown (photo by Bill Mahony)

Hiking along a brook (photo by Bill Mahony)


NH - Central East

  Driving Directions   

The Copple Crown trailhead is located in Brookfield, New Hampshire at Ellis Hatch, Jr. Wildlife Management Area (formerly called Jones Brook Wildlife Management Area).

Ellis R. Hatch Wildlife Management Area sign (photo by Bill Mahony) From Route 16:
  • At the junction of Routes 16 and 109 in Wakefield, New Hampshire (opposite Sanbornville), turn west onto Route 109.
  • Follow Route 109 West for 1.2 miles, then turn sharply left onto Governors Road.
  • After 0.4 mile on Governors Road, turn right onto (Moose) Mountain Road.
  • Follow (Moose) Mountain Road for about 1.5 miles where the pavement will end.
  • It is recommended that you park at the plow-turnaround just after the paved road ends. Beyond this point the road can be bad in wet conditions and rough even in dry conditions.
  • Or, you may bear left at the fork and follow the rough gravel road for 0.3 mile which will bring you to the trailhead and another parking area. There is a sign indicating "Ellis R. Hatch Wildlife Management Area" and a nice parking lot for about eight vehicles.
  • During winter, the gravel road beyond the fork is not plowed, so count on walking a little extra. Optionally, you can also intersect with the trail by taking the right-hand fork of the road instead of the left which will save you a bit of hiking (see the trail map above).

Other Notes   

During winter, the first 1.3 miles of the trail is also used by snowmobiles.

More Copple Crown Mountain Trail Reports   



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