Between North Conway and Gorham, the professionally operated Jackson Ski Touring Foundation maintains 154 km of cross-country ski trails (90 km beautifully groomed) over 60 square miles spread across 3 river systems. There are about a dozen lodges and Inns along the trail system.
For apres ski, try the Wildcat Tavern or Shannon Door.
Here are detailed descriptions of the various trails in the Jackson nordic trail network:
1. Bald Land Trail - 3.1, More Difficult; connects the East Pasture Trail to the Woodland Trail. Forms part of the East Pasture Loop. Excellent views from short scenic vista spur trail and from the main trail Elev. Differential 500 ft.
2. Black Mountain Cabin Trail - 3.5 km, Most Difficult; connects the East Pasture Trail to the Wildcat Valley Trail. Must walk approx.100 meters to connect the two. Maintained by WMNF. Cabin is on West face just below summit. There is a charge to stay at the cabin. Please call Saco Ranger District WMNF to reserve. Elev. Differential 1500 ft. Non-fee.
4. Nestlenook Farm Trail - 1.5 km, Easier; loops around Nestlenook Farm and connects to the Kissing Bridge Trail. Some moderate hills and one-way sections.
5. Bog Brook Trail - 4.2 km, More Difficult; wilderness trail between Carter Notch Road and Perkins Notch. Skiers should be in top physical condition and thoroughly prepared before attempting this trail. Maintained by JSTF and WMNF. Joins the Wild River trail 2 km west of No-Ketchum Pond. Elev. Differential 710 ft. Non-fee.
5a. Boggy Brook Trail - 3 km, Easier; gentle terrain and an alternative access to the Bog Brook Trail. Flat rolling terrain with one hill. Excellent views. Parking is limited at the J.S.T.F. lot on upper Carter Notch Road. No parking at the end of Carter Notch Road. Non-fee.
6. Christmas Farm Trail - 1.0 km, More Difficult; connects Jackson Village to Eagle Mountain Fields via Christmas Farm Inn. Moderate hills. Elev. Differential 250 ft.
7.Circuit Trail - 2.4 km, More Difficult; connects Black Mountain Tramway to the Wildcat Valley Trail. Trail ends at Black Mountain Ski Area Bob-o’Link trail near a housing development. Descend to Whitneys’ Inn via alpine ski trail. Elev. Differential 340 ft
9. Dana Place Trail - 7.1 km, Most Difficult; begins at the Wildcat Valley Trail in the Prospect Farm area. Trail crosses logging roads. After Hutman hiking trail leaves left, ski trail continues then descends steeply passing the Blake House Trail and skirting a private house ends on SR16. Elev. Differential 600 ft.
10. Eagle Mountain Fields - 4.5 km, Easier; flat & rolling terrain makes scenic loops around fields and banks of Wildcat River valley. Good panoramic view of Carter Notch.
11. Dollof Place Run - 0.5 km, Easier; connects the Ellis River Trail to the old Dollof Farm site.
12. Doublehead Ski Trail - 1.9 km, Most Difficult; intersects Dundee Road and proceeds up Doublehead Mt. Maintained by WMNF. A mountaineering trail cut by the CCC the 1930’s. Elev. Differential 1575 ft. Non-fee.
13. Riverview Trail - 1.3 km, More Difficult; one-way trail at Nestlenook Farm.
14. East Branch Trail (upper) - 7.9 km, wilderness trail between Lower East Branch Road (unplowed) and the No-Ketchum Pond shelter, follows upper Saco River drainage. Skiers should be in top physical shape and fully prepared before attempting this trail. Maintained by WMNF. Non-fee.
15. East Pasture Trail - 3.5 km, Most Difficult; part of the East Pasture Loop. Climbs from parking area to the Black Mountain Cabin Trail where it meets the Woodland Trail. Elev. Differential 965 ft
16. Eleventh Hole Trail - 0.3 km, Easier; connects the Troll Trail to the Wentworth Resort Course. Moderate hills on both ends of trail.
17. Ellis River Trail - 7.7 km, Easier; rolling terrain along the West Bank of the scenic Ellis River. There are several one-way loops along the trail. A warming cabin is found 1.5 km from the trailhead on Green Hill Road. During rainy or warm periods, skiers may need to use the High Water Trail as connector to Rt. 16 when ice crossing south of Dana Place is not available. Please note that the Jackson Water Precinct Property is closed during dark hours from Sunset to Sunrise. Elev. Differential 500 ft.
19. Graustein Loop - 1.3 km, More Difficult; climbs from Jackson Village Trail to abandoned ski area and drops through series of downhills back to Village Trail. Elev. Differential 190 ft.
20.Thistledon Trail - 0.6 km, More Difficult; connects Rte 16B and the Wave. Ungroomed.
21. Gray’s Inn Cut-Off - 0.4 km, Easier; bisects the Kissing Bridge Trail.
23. Hall’s Ledge Overlook - 0.3 km, Easier; short run off the Wildcat Valley Trail at Prospect Farm with exciting view of Mt. Washington.
24. Jackson Village Trail - 1.6 km, Easier; connects village center with Inn at Thorn Hill. Rolling terrain, some More Difficult hills. Passes the site of the first organized ski school in North America.
26. Kissing Bridge Trail - 0.9 km, Easier; connects Center to Inn at Thorn Hill. Elev. Differential100 ft.
29. Middle Mountain Trail - 4.3 km, More Difficult; connects old Tyrol Ski Area to Jackson village via Graustein Loop. Must walk ¼ mi. section on Thorn Mtn Rd. Non-fee.
30. Sugarbush Trail - 2.9 km, More Difficult; a combination of alpine ski slope then x-c trail that provides a link between Whitneys’ Inn and East Pasture Trail. Elev. Differential 500 ft. A new glade parallels the Sugarbush Trail. Skiers may only ski down the Sugarbush Trail. A reduced rate single-ride lift pass is available to ascend Black Mountain Ski Area to get to the Sugarbush Trail and East Pasture Loop.
32. NASTAR Loop - 1.0 km, Easier; located at Dana Place Inn. Loops around the Dana Place Inn property and connects Dana Place to Ellis River Trail at river crossing.
34. Maple Mountain Loop - 3.3 km, Most Difficult; loops from and rejoins the Hall Trail along the south flank of Popple Mountain. Preferably skied clockwise. Elev. Differential 500 ft.
36. Polecat Trail - 5.6 km, More Difficult; alpine ski trail, connecting summit to base. Available to make X-C connection from Pinkham Notch to summit of Wildcat Valley Trail. Elev. Differential 2,000 ft. Non-fee.
37. High Water Trail – 1.3 km - More Difficult, extends from the seasonal river crossing at Dana Place Inn to Rte 16 south of the Rocky Branch parking lot. Provides the only access to road and Inn when Ellis River is not frozen.
38. Hall Trail - 12.4 km, Most Difficult; from WMNF Rocky Branch parking lot (3/8 mi. N Dana Place Inn), to Ellis River Trail at Gray’s Field via Popple Mt. Trail may be skied in either direction. Elev. Differential 1,110 ft.
39. Swamp Run - 0.3 km, Easier; connects Jackson Village Trail to Graustein Loop.
40. Riverbank Loop 1.0 km, Easier; extension of Ellis River Trail running along river’s edge, rejoins Ellis River Trail just south of cabin.
41. Troll Trail - 1.0 km, Easier; connects Wentworth Resort Course to Red Fox Pub on Rte 16.
42. Blake House Trail - 1km, Most Difficult; extremely narrow, steep trail connecting Dana Place Trail with Rte 16 at Blake House Bed and Breakfast. Elev. Differential 300 ft.
43. Wildcat River Trail - 4.0 km, Most Difficult; wilderness trail connects Bog Brook Trail in Perkins Notch to Carter Notch hut. Last 1/4 mi. is very, very steep. Reservation required to stay at hut. Maintained for skiing by WMNF. Non-fee.
44. Wentworth Resort Course - 3 km, Easier; loops around Jackson Village.
45. Whitney’s Practice Area - 1km, Easier; at base of Black Mountain near Whitney’s Inn.
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 1/2 mi. from Carter Notch Road to Black Mountain Cabin Trail before trail picks up again 150 meters along Melloon Road. Upper trail closes at 2 PM. Elev. Differential 3,240 Ft.
46A. Wildcat Valley Fields - 3.0 km, Easier; crosses woodland and pasture along Wildcat River and joins with Eagle Mountain Fields. Spectacular views.
47. Wild River Trail - 3.9 km, Most Difficult wilderness trail; connects Bog Brook in Trail to the No-Ketchum Pond Shelter. Skiers should be in top physical condition and thoroughly prepared before attempting this trail. Maintained by WMNF. Non-fee.
48. Winniweta Falls Trail - 2.1 km, More Difficult; connects the Ellis River Trail to Winniweta Falls, then to Hall Trail. Elev. Differential 805 ft.
49. Galloping Gale Trail - 1.0 km, Most Difficult; one way from Eagle Mountain House to Yodel Trail. Steep, fast, turny downhills. Elev. Differential 220 ft.
50. Covered Bridge Trail - 0.2 km, Easier; connects Kissing Bridge Trail near touring center to Covered Bridge.
51. Woodchuck Trail - 2.4 km, Easier; loops off Wildcat Valley Fields and Eagle Golf Course. Spectacular views.
52. Woodland Trail - 5.1 km, More Difficult; connects East Pasture to Bald Land Trail. Elev. Differential 620 ft.
53. Yodel Trail - 1.2 km, More Difficult; connects Wentworth Resort Course to Eagle Mountain Fields.
54. Avalanche Brook Trail - 8.0 km, Most Difficult; connects A.M.C. headquarters with Highwater Trail. Crosses Hall Trail above Rocky Branch Parking Lot. Elev. Differential 1,200 ft. Non-fee.
55. Alice’s Alley - 1.0 km, Easier; loops off the Wildcat Valley Trail in the fields N of Eagle Mountain Fields. Elev. Differential 65 ft.
57. Pine Pond Loop - 0.8 km, Snowshoe Trail; forms loop around Nestlenook’s skating pond.
58. Wigglesworth Trail - 1.0 km, Snowshoe Trail; one-way loop off Nestlenook Farm Trail.
59. Nestlenook Cut-Off - 0.2 km, Snowshoe Trail; shortcut from Nestlenook Farm Trail to Inn.
60. The Wave - 2.0 km, More Difficult; one-way trail over rolling terrain from Christmas Farm Trail to Eagle Mountain Fields. Good view of Mt. Washington from height of land. Elev. Differential 140 ft. See new Homologation Map
61. Betty Whitney Trail - 2.0 km, More Difficult; connects the Wave with Whitney’s Inn. Rolling terrain, one-way loop section at mid-trail. Elev. Differential 160 ft.
62. Windy Hill Trail - 1.9 km, Most Difficult. Ascends though the upper field from the right-hand driveway at the East Pasture Loop parking lot. Spectacular views from the field. Please do not approach the farmhouse. Elev. Differential 495ft.
63. U.S.T. – 0.7 km, Easier; Extends NNW from the Dana Place Trail to a viewpoint and a forest opening
64. Orchard Trail – 1.6 km, Easier; Extends from the Wildcat Valley Trail to a viewpoint and a forest opening. This trail passes a scenic viewpoint: "Outlook Rock" (vista cleared periodically) and a derelict 1950’s Buick Century.
65. Quail Trail - .8 km -- Easier -- The Quail Trail was originally cut as a logging road and maintained for a time by the Jackson Conservation Commission. Recently, the U.S. Forest Service used it as a logging operations road. When the operation was closed out, the trail was added to our Special-Use Permit area. The trail leaves west from the Wildcat Valley Trail halfway between the Boggy Brook Trail and the Dana Place Trail. It traverses town owned land and enters National Forest and a large opening before meeting the Marsh Brook Trail.
66. Sugarbush Glades - .5 km - More Difficult. A glade cut by Black Mtn Ski Area and available for Jackson Ski Touring Club members for descent from the East Pasture Loop area.
68. Beth Hendrick Trail - 0.5 km - More Difficult. Previously a logging road brushed out originally by Bob Henrick, a Jackson vacation homeowner, in the 1970’s. The Foundation’s crew has recently reopened it. The trail leaves the Wildcat Valley Trail at the northern boundary of Prospect Farm and ends at Hub’s Loop. This trail combination provides a fun alternative for those skiing the Wildcat Valley Trail from the summit or a pleasant loop for those just exploring this area.
69. Hub’s Loop - 0.75 km - More Difficult. Loops off the Wildcat Valley Trail from above the Baker Memorial Rock and re-enters the Wildcat Valley Trail just above the intersection of the Orchard Trail and the abandoned Towle Farm homesite.
Overall, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation is the 1st most popular cross country ski area of all 26 Nordic ski destinations in New Hampshire.