Worcester County High Point Trip Report

Mt Wachusett (2,006 ft)

Date: January 16, 2004
Author: Dave Covill

This is a moderate walk on trails. It was very cold, about zero to ten maybe, and blowing in gusts up to 30 mph. Its about 620 feet up in a bit less than a mile of trail walking via the most direct trail.

From Route 2, more or less an interstate highway, just west of Fitchburg MA, take route 140 south. Zero odometer. Route 140 is also known as Worcester Road. At mile 2.1, turn right (west) on Mile Hill Road. Pass by a right for Bolton Road at 2.7 miles, signed for the Wachusett Mountain ski area. Pass by the base of the ski area at 3.1 miles. Turn off to the well-signed road for the Wachusett Reservation (A.K.A. State Park in other parts of the country) at 3.9 miles. Follow this paved road to 4.0 miles at the parking lot for the Visitor Center. A large gate prohibits further uphill travel in winter, as this road crosses the ski area trails. You can proceed another 2 miles in the summer to the summit.

The visitor center was a nice building with a huge roaring fire in a central fireplace. The rangers were friendly and helpful, including questions about Mt. Watatic to the north. I chose the most direct route, the Pine Hill Trail, which leaves the visitor center and heads directly up the eastern slope on a narrow, icy trail. You cannot choose to hike the road, so you must go up this or other, more gentle trails. It took me 20 minutes to get up to the summit plateau, and about 12 minutes to get down. It took me over 5 minutes to walk the 100+ yards of exposed summit parking area to the high spot, on a gentle outcrop. There was a sheet of ice one inch thick, and it was blowing over 30 mph from the far, western side of the mountain. There is an interesting metal compass rose at the highpoint. The skyscrapers in Boston were visible, as was Watatic to the north, and many hills to the west.