Mt. Wachusett


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Thread: Mt. Wachusett

  1. #1

    Mt. Wachusett

    Date(s) Hiked: 10.31.04

    Trails(s) Hiked: Stage Coach/Harrington/Mountain House/Jack Frost/High Meadow/Echo Lake

    Total Distance: Approx. 4 miles

    Difficulty: Easy

    Conditions: Lots of leaves on the trail, obscuring rocks. A few muddy spots.

    Special Required Equipment: The usual: water, food.

    Trip Report:
    It had been a long week (or two) at work between the election and the Red Sox on their post-season sprint. With little time to get in a long drive up north, I decided to start exploring closer to home. This would be the first mountain I'd ever hiked in Massachusetts despite living here off and on for a decade, and growing up just over the border in Connecticut.

    It was one of those Indian summer days, with temps approaching close to 70 when I hit the parking lot for the Stage Coach Trail.

    The trail was a blanket of leaves, and I took care in my step since some of the rocks were obscured. Within only a few minutes, you come across a wind farm -- the first time I'd been this close to one of them, having read so much about the controversy of the one proposed for the Cape. There was little wind, so very little "whirring."

    From here, I hopped on the Harrington Trail, part of the Midstate Trail that traverses the state. There are nice small bridges along the way crossing small brooks. Once the trail intersects with the Link Trail, it gets a bit rockier -- the closest this gets to anything as steep or rough as up north.

    Just before the summit, you cross a road for cars. It's a bit disconcerting to be on the lookout for cars!

    The summit gives you a taste of suburbia: picnic tables, a parking lot and a few summit buildings, as well as a fire tower. However, the views toward Boston's skyline were breathtaking, and I think I could see Monadnock off in the distance. I checked out one of the ski lifts and vowed to return once snow was here.

    I ended up taking Mountain House Trail to Jack Frost Trail to High Meadow to Echo Lake back down, looking for a little variety.

    There were lots of folks out for this jaunt, including several with well-behaved dogs.

    It was only a couple of hours in the woods, but this was exactly what I needed!

  2. #2
    Another great hike and trip report.

    I felt like I was there.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
    I've never been up there and it's really not that far from here. One of these days, I'll have to check it out. Is there more than one way to the summit?

  4. #4
    Howdy, SilentCal -- yup, there are a bevy of trails leading to the summit. I got a trail map with the AMC guidebook to Massachusetts hiking, but I'm sure there are other places to get a trailmap for this mountain.

  5. #5
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentCal
    I've never been up there and it's really not that far from here. One of these days, I'll have to check it out. Is there more than one way to the summit?
    Hell yeah there are a lot of trails up there...almost too many! I hiked it in June 2003 for the first time...lots of bugs

    You can begin your hike at the Mass State Park headquarters off of Mountain Road (?) which hands out free topo maps of the mountain and its trails. You could also ride the Express Quad to the top

    Alpinista: You probably did see Monadnock and the Wapack Range (Watatic, Temple, and Pack Monadnocks) from the summit.
    Live, Ski, or Die!

  6. #6
    Excellent. I'll have to put that peak on my list for next year. Lisa drop me a line if you ever would like to do the Holyoke Range or Mt. Tom. They are not that far from you either.

  7. #7
    Count me in, SilentCal -- I'm actually hoping to do lots of hiking in southern New England this winter. I've done some hiking up north in the winter, but I'm trying to do some less serious stuff around here when the snow flies.

  8. #8
    It's a great place to take a first timer and youngsters - It's a short hike with great views. I live about a half hour to the west, so it's perfect for me when I only have a few hours and want to squeeze in a short hike. My 2 year old loves to sit by the small pond near the top (just off the auto road as it nears the summit) and look at all of the fish in there. Anyone ever hike Mt. Warwick in the Warwick state forest? It's on my list of nearby "peaks" to tackle soon.

    You have to do the hard things in life sooner or later. -- Earl Hickey's Karma Guide

  9. #9

    Winter Hiking Mt. Wachusett

    I'm considering a snowshoe day-hike of Mt. Wachusett, perhaps even some cross country skiiing.

    Does any have experience doing this - parking locations, trials, conditions, etc?


  10. #10
    Have not been up Wachusetts in the snow yet but agree, lost of loops, I've been up three times & each time started near the wind farm but took different ways up each time. EMS had a 5 map set for MA hiking which included this one, two for Holyokes/Tom, Mt. Toby & Greylock.

    Greylock via Cheshire Harbor is pretty gentle, parts of the trip include sharing the terrain with Snowmobiles but they are pretty friendlt up there as they share the road with X-C skiers & BC skiers on the way up to some ski trails.

    Holyokes are nice offer some good views, I've been up a few times on Bare & Norwottuck (sic) always from the notch between the two peaks. With a couple of people this area is super car spotting trips.

    Toby is nice too, only been in May several years ago. (just North of Yankee Candle)

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