Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mt Wachusett 7 Trail Loop - Guest post!

Wachusett Mountain Loop- My own version- 7 trails in total
Difficulty: 3-4*
Views: 7-8
Miles: 5.16
Time: 4:23.  I would say w/out the excessive stopping I did it to catch my breath it would be about  3.5 hrs.
Info:  dogs are allowed on leashes.
Tip: BRING YOUR TRAIL MAP!  Grab one free in the visitor’s center.

We began at the main visitor center parking lot and headed out on the Bicentennial Trail.  This part of the trail was very easy…just a nice little stroll in the woods.  Past the stone stairway that leads to the Pine Hill Trail (most direct very steep trail to the top).  We kept going. We then accidently veered off the trail we meant to take and ended up taking a steeper route called Loop Trail…took a right onto Mountain House Trail straight to the summit.  The Loop & Mountain House were pretty steep and always up hill.  We then arrived at the summit.  The summit had a few picnic tables and portable facilities.  Also a small pond with some colorful fish to look at.  It was a bit hazy view wise but I imagine it would have been really nice on a clear day.

The way back I wanted to get in some miles so we then picked up Harrington Trail , located near the tall radio like tower at the summit.  The beginning part of the Harrington Trail was pretty steep and rocky….carefully picking where to step on the rocks.   We then crossed over several trails and roads staying on Harrington for a very long time.  Harrington was very well signed.  We then took a left onto Stage Coach Trail which passes right by the windmill farm.  You can hear the hum/buzz of the windmills for much of this part of the hike.  Stage Coach Trail ends up on a road which has a couple options.  “Administration Road Trail” or the one we took…Echo Lake Trail…just past this on the left.  This takes you past Echo Lake and onto High Meadow Trail.  We then took a right turn back onto Bicentennial Trail.  This part of Bicentennial is very narrow and towards the end was like a rocky graveyard….having to pick our footing VERY carefully. We were pretty tired by this point and each step was a little shaky.
Overall Assessment:  Great variety. There are a bunch of trails to choose from- steep to more round about.  Forest to meadow.  We were really able to make our own route by keeping a close eye on our trail map.  Most trails are signed really well though we did veer off track once.
*My rating system: for now, I will use a mostly flat trail as 1 and Mt Monadnock as my 5.  I’m sure once I tackle Mt Kilimanjaro that will become my 5 w/Monadnock falling to a 3….but for now it holds my highest rating.
-By: Stacey via