The third time was the charm as we went back to the 19 Mile Brook Trail to access the Wildcat Ridge Trail up to Wildcat A. The sky was deep blue and stayed that way the whole day. For the first time this summer on this trail, we were dry when we reached the car.
Wildcat A begins with the pleasant walk of about 4 miles up the 19 Mile Brook Trail and culminates in the very steep Wildcat Ridge Trail climb. The trail though had good footing. Once again we encountered another bridge crossing that was out and had not been replaced by the Forest Service. The water level had been dropping and the brook was small enough so that the crossing was no problem.
On the summit of Wildcat A, which did feature a small perch to enjoy lunch and the unique view to Carter Notch and the Carters, we encountered a group of hikers who didn't know what peak they were on. They seemed fit and fleet but further puzzled us by asking what are the buildings we were seeing down below (Carter Notch Hut). We asked were they were going and they replied "Gorham". Gorham is a town about 15 miles further down and up the Carter Moriah Trail. I said you will be traversing 5 peaks today. They looked at me blankly. I was glad they had a sunny day to hike. Their confusion is the stuff that accidents are made of when storms arise.
On the return trip we did take a short .6 mile (round trip) side trip to visit the Carter Notch Hut. The kids had visited every other hut in our hiking and it was important to them to see them all. Peak #45.
Distance 9.2 miles; Climb 3050 ft; Elevation 4422 ft.