Wildcat Valley Trail
Map reference #46.
Wildcat Valley Trail - 17.8 km, Most Difficult; connects the summit of Wildcat Mountain to Jackson Village. Skiers should be in top physical condition and thoroughly prepared before attempting upper most section of trail. Skiers must walk 1 mi. Carter Notch Road to Black Mountain Cabin Trail before trail picks up again 150 meters along Melloon Road. The J.S.T.F. parking lot is no longer available1/2 mile north of Melloon Road. Upper trail closes at 2 PM. Elev. Differential 3,240 Ft.
The Wildcat Valley Trail was cut in 1972 by the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation. Since first opening, the trail has been maintained yearly to keep it open and skiable. Skier using this trail must have a valid membership in the Jackson Ski Touring Club. Annual and daily memberships are available. A special Wildcat Valley Trail reduced rate day membership pass is available for purchase at the Jackson Ski Touring Center, AMC Pinkham Notch Camp, and at Wildcat Ski Area Skier Services. This special $14.00 ticket is valid only on the Wildcat Valley Trail to Jackson or to Rte 16. It is not valid on other groomed trails. A full day-pass is available if the skier is considering other trails. A Wildcat Valley Trail pass can be upgraded for the difference in the day's membership price.
This down mountain trail runs 17.8 km from the summit of Wildcat Ski Area to Jackson Village. The trail generally follows the Wildcat ridge to Prospect Farm passing through a magnificent stand of Birch trees along the way. Shortly after entering Prospect Farm (the trail becomes wide and graded at this point), a side trail to Hall's Ledge beckons the skier to a magnificent view of the Presidential Ridge and a perfect picnic spot. Side routes to State Highway Route 16 and Blake House and Dana Place Inn are found in the Prospect Farm area of the trail system below Hall's Ledge. The side routes are Dana Place Trail (see descriptions and map for details) and the Quail Trail starting below the Dana Place Trail and leading to the Marsh Brook Trail then to the Dana Place Trail (again the map is invaluable). Near the terminus skiers can choose the Dana Place Trail or turn left on the Blake House Trail (frankly, not a great trail that is steep, rocky and crosses drainages that are frequently open). The Blake House Trail ends at the Blake House. The Dana Place Trail ends on Rte 16 just south of Dana Place Inn.
If skiers choose to ski to Jackson on the rest of the Wildcat Valley Trail, a 1 mile walk on Carter Notch Road is necessary due to a landowner requesting his land no longer be used for skiing. The lower trail follows mostly moderate terrain for nearly 10 km. and passes through the Eagle Mountain Fields and follows the Yodel trail to the village area.
A special $10 Wildcat Ski Area Pass for uphill skiing at Wildcat Ski Area is necessary if you choose to ski up the Polecat Ski Trail to the summit start of the trail. Alternately you can choose to purchase a Wildcat Ski Area one-ride lift access to the summit for $12. Access passes to the summit of Wildcat Ski Area are available for purchase at the Skier Services desk in their base lodge. These fees are in addition to a Jackson XC Trail Pass. A special $14 Wildcat Valley Trail Pass is available at the Jackson Ski Touring Center or at Wildcat Ski Area Skier Services Desk. Parking is limited on busy days. A taxi service is available to take skiers to Wildcat Ski Area. Contact Fast Taxi 603-356-0000 or Village Taxi 603-356-3602. You can choose to leave your car at Blake House, Dana Place or at a number of places in the village area.