The mountain access road is closed to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians during the Wachusett Mountain Parkway Road System Rehabilitation. The project began in spring of 2010 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2011. The project will repair the deteriorated roadway infrastructure and bring the roadway into compliance with current safety and functional standards. If you have any questions please feel free to call the park headquarters. Rising above the surrounding forest to a height of 2006 feet, Mount Wachusett stands as a unique landmark within the central New England landscape. From the summit, a clear day reveals views of Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire, the Berkshires to the west, and the Boston skyline to the east. The 3,000-acre Wachusett Mountain State Reservation surrounds the summit and offers a wealth of natural and recreational resources. The Reservation's natural resources include forests, alpine meadows, ponds, streams, fields, and even a perched bog. Recreational opportunities abound at the reservation including hiking, nature study, hawk watching, picnicking, and skiing. The Reservation offers 17 miles of hiking and walking trails, including 3.9 miles of the Midstate Trail, which runs from Ashburnham to the Rhode Island border. Mountain Road stretches to the John Hitchcock Visitor's Center at the summit, a short distance from the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, which is the largest in eastern Massachusetts. Wachusett Mountain is part of an extensive greenway area, including Leominster State Forest, Massachusetts Audubon's Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary and Minns Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also the location of the largest known area of Old Growth Forest east of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts, with trees dating over 350 years old. Evidence of the glacial activity which shaped the mountain can be seen at Balance Rock; two large boulders were stacked one on top of the other by moving glaciers thousands of years ago.
The well marked trails were a good workout. We did a 5 mile loop which of course took in the summit. My favorite time for hiking is in the fall when the foliage is in full color. I enjoy the peace and solitude of the trails and the scenic overlooks. Today, the trails were like Interstate 95 at rush hour. At times you had to wait on the side as lines of hikers past you coming from the opposite direction. The summit was disappointing as it was overcast and very hazy. Good scenic pics were out of the question. The crowds there also detracted from the moment. I think the bottom line is that the best time to hike this Mountain would be any day during the week if you want solitude. I will do this hike again someday (during the week) as there are many more trails I want to explore.
If you are looking for a quick hike with moderate workout and decent views, this is a good option to consider. The trails were moderate, sometimes even easy. We parked near the entrance to the state park and took the Old Indian trail to the Summit that took about 20 minutes. The entrance fee is $5. There is a watch tower on the summit. The views were OK. There was decent foot traffic on the trails as it was a weekend with great weather. On our way back, we took the Harrington trail, to Semuhenna trail(easy), to West side and then the Old Indian trail back to the car.