White Mountain National Forest - Champney Falls / Mt. Chocorua
Project: A Walk in The Whites
Prior to our focus in the Hudson Valley of New York, occasional long distance trips to other famous regions took place. The White Mountains of New Hampshire, having long been associated with some of the most extraordinary hiking opportunities in the United States was one such location we visited.
In the fall of 2013, the United States Forest Service approached the Jolly Rovers to rebuild a section of the Champney Brook Trail on the way up the famed Mount Chocorua. On this particular route to the summit, several stunning attractions in the form of a series of waterfalls, pools and vistas attracted more visitors than the summit itself. At the junction where visitors could go left to enjoy the various vistas and waterfalls or go right to shoot straight for the summit, the conditions of the trail had become particularly poor and also confusing for visitors. After a scouting trip to plan logistics for the large scale mobilization effort, the Jolly Rovers partnered up with the United States Forest Service for the first time in it's history.
To create a more sustainable and accessible solution, over 30 of our volunteers would travel 8 hours north of our home base and spent a total of 12 days over two year's during the month's of August in 2014 and 2015.
Once there, the granite found onsite was not only abundant but very agreeable to split and shape, allowing our crew to work efficiently by harvesting almost all the necessary steps out of two large boulders uphill. The surrounding scree stones would then be harvested utilizing a series on overhead zip lines to deliver the rocks to their various teams.
While working there we were all stunned by the volume of foot traffic the site saw and the variety of users it attracted, from the casual swimmer in sandals to the avid peak bagger on route to the summit. Having had the opportunity to swim and take in the summit, it became little wonder why the trail had become one of the most popular in the White Mountains.
The total project resulted in over 50 stone steps, 30 feet of stone wall and one stone paved swale to intercept seasonal water flow across the trail. After some additional revegetation at the junction along with some signage, visitor confusion of where to go along with the issues of erosion at that particular location ceased. In such a beautiful location, with the magnificent White Mountains around us, we could not have asked for a better trip.