Coppermine Trail, White Mountain National Forest, NH

Find seasonal solitude close to home on this ideal backpack for winter beginners in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Photo: Kristen Richard

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The bass roar of Bridal Veil Falls drifted through the walls of my tent, the only noise in the winter soundscape. Though I was only 2.5 miles from my car on the Coopermine Trail, I felt deep in the wilderness; the mumble of the half-frozen creek had been the only accompaniment to my hike in, leaving cities, cars, and even conversation farther behind with every step. As a winter camping neophyte, this trip was perfect—close enough to my car to bail in an emergency, but far enough out that I felt completely secluded in nature. As I shimmied deeper into my sleeping bag, breath clouding the air above me, I let the rumble of the water lure to me sleep and marked this foray into four-season backpacking a success.

Trip Stats
Distance: 5 miles (roundtrip) Difficulty: 2/5 Rating: 4/5 Duration: 2 days
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Bridal Veil Falls, NH Photo: Kristen Richard

Turn by Turn 

  1. Park your car on Coppermine Road, a dirt road off NH 116, and walk .25 mile down the road, staying right at the split. 
  2. Not long after the road splits pick up Coppermine Trail on your left (marked by a brown WMNF sign). Thick rows of hemlock trees line the path, but the sun still manages to shine through, preventing any serious ice buildup on the path.
  3. At mile 1, you’ll get your first view of the brook. To get a closer look, bear to the right and go down a short, steep hill to a small clearing on the brook’s edge. Small waterfalls and mossy boulders scatter the creek. As the path continues beyond the first brook view, it gets progressively rockier and narrower; instep crampons are a good idea.
  4. Pass a shallow stair-step waterfall that runs for a few hundred feet at mile 1.5.
  5. To reach 35-foot Bridal Veil Falls, head behind the Coppermine Shelter (just past the bridge at mile 2.3) and look for a small trail marker on a tree. The rocky trail bears to the left before crossing the brook. 
  6. Head left again and cross the brook to camp in a clearing near the falls. On a clear night stars are visible through the trees above most campsites

Trip Planner

Permit None Contact White Mountain National Forest GPX Download