Wildcat River

New Hampshire

A small mountain stream that rises from the scenic White Mountain National Forest, the brook tumbles over a series of ledges into the center of the classically picturesque New England town of Jackson. The area has many hiking and cross country skiing opportunities. The outstanding scenic beauty, high-quality water, and recreational value of the river area and Jackson Falls provided a centerpiece for the historic resort town, as Jackson evolved from its agricultural origins a century ago to the rural, tourism-based resort community that it is today. 

View larger map

Designated Reach

October 28, 1988. Wildcat River from the headwaters in Carter Notch to the confluence with the Ellis River. Little Wildcat Brook from the headwaters on Wildcat Mountain to the confluence with Wildcat Brook. Bog Brook from the headwaters near Perkins Notch to the confluence with Wildcat River. Great Brook from the Route 16B bridge at Whitney's Pond to the confluence with Wildcat Brook.

Outstandingly Remarkable Values


Above the falls, recreational use is primarily land-based; cross country skiing in winter on private and White Mountain National Forest lands, fishing and hiking in snow free seasons on the trails paralleling Wildcat Brook and Bog Brook. The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation maintains approximately 150 kilometers of trails that cross private, municipal, and federal lands. Most of these trails are within the Wildcat corridor and afford a first-hand experience of the visual qualities of the area.


The Wildcat River and its tributaries possess outstanding scenic values related to a high diversity of natural, physical, and human-made features. The headwaters section lies in the Carter-Moriah Range and offers sweeping views of Mount Washington, Carter Dome, Carter Notch, and Pinkham Notch. 



Recreational Scenic
Recreational — 0.8 miles; Scenic — 13.7 miles; Total — 14.5 miles.
Show more