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Thompson Falls

Length: 1.4 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: 250 feet (-50 feet)

Rating (click for info): 6/10

Height: 150'

River: Thompson Brook

Best Time to Visit:
Visit at times of moderately high water. Plan other hikes in the area when you visit.

Driving Directions:
Trailhead is on Rt. 16 in Pinkham Grant, NH. Park at Wildcat Mountain Ski Area, 9.9 miles north of the northern junction of Rt. 16 and Rt. 16A and 9.7 miles south of Rt. 2.

About the Hike:
Thompson Falls is a long cascade chain that flows from the side of Wildcat Mountain. The cascades extend for about half a mile and are full of new delights at every turn. They are accessible via Thompson Falls Trail, which begins at the ski area's "Way of the Wildcat" Nature Trail. From the parking area, walk past the ski area's lodge and cross the bridge over the Peabody River. Turn left and walk on the gravel path across the grass to the trailhead for the Thompson Falls Trail and the Way of the Wildcat Nature Trail. The latter is a short loop through the forest with a trail guide (available in the lodge). The trail guide provides some interesting facts and history about the area around Wildcat Mountain. Just into the woods, the nature trail splits into a loop stay to the left for now. The path parallels the Peabody River from a distance. In about 0.1 miles, bear left at the far end of the loop to continue following Thompson Falls Trail. After crossing a dirt road from the ski area, the trail meets up with the stream and follows it to the cascades.

The lowest drop of the cascades is a wide fan into a pool and is the most impressive. There are many rocks around it on which to sit and enjoy the falls. The trail leads a short way up along the cascade chain. Just a few feet up the trail, you are able to stand at the top of the lowest cascade and look over it. There are many different and unique waterfalls as you follow the stream. There are some large cascades, some water slides, and some tall, straight drops. The trail ends with a small view through the trees of Mt. Washington, at 0.7 miles from the parking area.


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