Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,130.00 ft (344.42 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.
Mount Wachusett is the highest peak in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River and a well loved hiking spot for those who live within a 50-mile radius. From the summit you can see Monadnock to the north, Boston to the east, and Mount Greylock to the west. Wachusett is an Algonquin word for "by the hill," and it was named by the Nipmuc people. Mount Wachusett is home to 100 of the 1,000 acres of old-growth forest in Massachusetts. The trees in this area are gnarly and slow growing thanks to their exposed positions, and this along with the steep terrain that has posed challenges for logging has resulted in a stand of old-growth forest. The oldest tree is a yellow birch that is approximately 369 years old. The old-growth forest can be viewed from the Old Indian Trail. Be sure to stay on the trail to allow the habit to remain intact. Mount Wachusett is also home to a  commercially owned and operated ski hill. 
 
Wachusett Mountain State Reservation boasts 17 miles of well marked trails. The summit is developed and ADA accessible. There is a road to access the summit that is open from Memorial Day to the last weekend of October. This route is a 4.3-mile loop. It crosses many streams, ascends a ton of well constructed rock steps, crosses a couple of roads, and has many gorgeous, long distance views. The trail is mostly wooded and shady when the leaves are in. This is a crowded destination on the weekends when the weather is warm, but winter brings far fewer visitors.
 
From the parking area, take the Echo Lake Trail. Take this to Echo Load Road, which is gravel. From there take the High Meadow Trail, which is the start of the elevation gain. At the top of the hill is an open area with a gorgeous view and a bench. Take Bicentennial Trail from there, which is mostly flat with some up and down over rocks and streams. Head up Pine Hill Trail, which should be renamed to "Trail of Numerous Rock Steps." The entire way to the top is rock steps. You will know when you have reached the summit by the parking lot and towers. Take in the view and try to find Greylock to the west, Boston to the east, and Monadnock to the north. Head toward the ski lift on the Old Indian Trail, which is rocky and steep, and take a left at the West Side Trail. The West Side Trail gets to a road, and there is a picnic table. You will be on the Semuhenna Trail once you cross the road. Take this to the Harrington Trail and make a right. Take a left onto Stage Coach Trail, which will pass by a couple of large windmills and will change into a partialy paved road. This will take you back to the parking area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Gorgeous views. Solid footing. Well marked.

Cons

Rural location. Road crossings. Developed summit.

Trailhead Elevation

1,244.00 ft (379.17 m)

Highest point

1,987.00 ft (605.64 m)

Features

ADA accessible
Wildlife
Horseback riding
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Flushing toilets
Vault toilet
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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