nature trips





trail running

dogs on leash


wild flowers

kid friendly

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.

7 days ago

Nice trek, even in winter. Some ice but plenty of rocks and roots to keep traction. The Pine Hill Trail up was great and is a work of art!! Wish I had some skis for the way down.

Took my husky and I a little under 2 hours round trip with a nice stop at the top. Not a busy trail for a super nice Saturday in early December. Snow scattered throughout trail and some ice at the top so I did wear my microspikes there.

great place to get out and enjoy nature and great views

2 months ago

A very good hike. Very wet and muddy but I found it more a moderate hike rather than hard

Beautiful trail. more difficult then described
We loved the High Meadow overllook.

Nice hike close to Boston. There's a surprising variation of terrain and the trails are pretty easy to follow. The summit is a bit disappointing, as its usually crowded and loud, and the views are just so-so. I'd say this is more of a moderate to easy hike. It's a great warm up mountain for hiking season.

First time hiking with my boys (11 & 5). Trail was perfect for them - they practically ran up the mountain. It is steep and rocky in areas but very manageable.

I am in recovery from a broken leg and ACL surgery. I was happy I wore my knee brace for this hike. Getting up was no problem, took 40 minutes with stopping a few times to let other people who were faster go by. I was a little more cautious going down and used poles. It rained a lot during the week so most of trail was mud and the rocks were wet. The Mountain House Trail was labeled very well.

Fairly easy trail with a nice gradual approach to Mount Wachusett. The trail is a mix of rock and dirt sections, similar to some of the smaller peaks in the White Mountains. Near the top there’s one fairly steep section, but nothing technical. The summit is far from wilderness, with cell towers and view platforms at the top, usually pretty crowded. For me the best part was the hike up, not the summit itself.

4 months ago

It was literally just stairs. Some decent views on the way down after taking Chapman, dickens, Harrington up.

This was my first hike up Wachusett and couldn’t have enjoyed it more. 1st section along Bicentennial Trail was mostly rock but easily traversed, upon turning tp Loop Trail became a bit steeper and rocks were wet from earlier fog. Continued onto Trail House Tr and was a bit dryer finally reaching the summit. Met many great people on ascent and at summit. After a short break and enjoying the views, heading back down Old Indian Tr , pretty even steepness, had to use a bit extra caution on some rock section because of wetness/mud. Final stretch along road had nice views.

My favorite hike up Wachusett. It has some cool viewpoints and a really cool flat wooded area in the middle. Fairly steep. Takes maybe 35 mins to get to the top.

4 months ago

Nice loop trail. First part (when doing the loop counter-clock wise) is a steep climb and scramble to the summit. After a nearly equally steep decline, the middle part of the hike then consists mostly of flat or slowly descending trails through the forest.
The very last part (again, when going counter-clock wise) - quite close to the trail head, but before the fork to the summit ascend - involves scrambling over a boulder field with lots of big, sharp-edged rocks ... a nice challenge, but I wouldn’t recommend that part for hiking with kids.

Took Old Indian up to summit. Steep and rocky in some places but great hike up. Gets your heart pumping! Took us about 55 minutes. Took Harrington to Semmahuna to Old Indian back down. A little steep on Harrington but pretty easy the rest of the way down.

Went up Old Indian and down Harrington/Semuehanna. A nice hike, not too long, but steep and rocky enough toward the top to offer some challenge. Semuehanna was less heavily trafficked than Old Indian. Definitely muddy in places.

Challenging yet not too much so. The day I went it was pretty muddy and it was slippery in quite a few places. Overall had a great time.

Nice trail, was very wet due to the recent rains, but not too bad on the way up. Great views at the top. We took the Summit Down road then Pine Hill trail going down and stopped at the visitor center.

Awesome hike!

Moderately difficult with a bit of climbing on the way up, especially the first half of the West Side Trail.

We went the day after a rainstorm, and things were pretty muddy, so we took the North Road back down for a safer descent with the children.

Good short hike with decent payoff at the top. A friend of mine and I did the ascension in under 20 minutes. Takes a little longer with little ones, up and back maybe an hour or just over.

Great hike to end a day. I went up Old Indian Trail and down Harrington. It was very slippery and I would probably go up Harrington next time. I brought my dog and he had a little difficulty going down the steep rocks on Harrington. Watch out for the mosquitoes near Bolton Pond. Short hike but has those few spots you can push yourself and get the heart rate up.

Short but sweet. We were only looking for something to get the blood moving without too much of a commitment and this did it. Maybe an hour and a half all in. It was very buggy at the outset, that got better as we went up. 7/15

6 months ago

Excellent hike a bit strenuous the very first mile the trail is very well groomed but very steep! We (20s, 30s AMC Boston group) left at 10:00 am and were surprised to already reach the top of Wachusett at 10:40 however a lot more of the hike to go! Very good view from the top - rest of hike was easier but still a work out.

I'm glad we paid attention to alltrails map and to the over 10 different trail junctions! Everything was still fairly easy to follow - but be careful from Hardington to Windmills we kept going on Harrington and had to cycle back.

List of trails covered:
Bicentennial Trail
pine Hill Trail
Old Indian Trail
West Side Trail
Semuhenna Trail
Windmill Trail
Stage Coach Trail
Echo Lake Trail
Echo Lake Road
High Meadow
back to Bicentennial Trail

6 months ago

Very nice family hike! We especially enjoyed the Pine Forrest part. It took us 3 hours to do the loop including some time on the summit. The view from the top is great, definitely go! It is not hard, I would definitely rate it moderate. Much easier comparing to Monadnock summit, for example. Good luck!

6 months ago

Great trail. Completed 7/14/2018. Took Bicentennial to High Meadow Trail, cut across on Lower Link and up Harrington. Back down Mountain House and Bicentennial. Hardly anyone on the trail but quite a few people at the top. Not too challenging but just a couple of climbing parts to make it fun!

Great hike !!!!!!

6 months ago

we really enjoyed this hike. we got a little lost and ended up doing 7 miles. this hike offers a wide variety of settings - the summit trail, locks of rocks on the return trip, a beautiful meadow, and a pine forest. would recommend. it isn't easy, but its doable.

Incredibly crowded late on a Sunday morning in July, and the summit is VERY crowded with noisy families due to a parking area near the top. Views are nice but not spectacular, obscured by towers and tourists. There’s a lot of up and down, a very indirect way to the top (but a nice workout with a few overlooks). I took the left fork at the beginning of this loop so I summited near the end of this hike... I think I would have been too annoyed with the circuitous route to finish had I gone the other way!

Solid hike with decent pitch, but would not consider it to be “hard.” Took two of us and two pups just under 2 hours

This is a nice little hike but rating it as "hard" is downright silly. A good rule of thumb is that any hike less than 2,000 feet vertical elevation should be rated moderate as a maximum.

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