Mount Wachusett provides one of the best hiking loops close to Boston for its diversity in exercise and the beautiful scenery. Summer, Spring, Autumn, and Winter are all great hiking seasons for Mt. Wachusett, and every time of the year has something different to offer. Echo Lake and High Meadow are the, uhum, high points of the loop, although they are not the tallest in elevation. ~ 5 miles and 2.5 hours at a leisurely pace with time for pictures will deliver not only a great day of exercise but also the feeling that you were able to step into a magical, forested land. Check out the hiking directions below the photo of a Red Eft which is found all over the Mount Wachusett!
1. Start at the welcome center on the Loop/Bicentennial Trail
2. Take a right onto Pine Hill Trail
3. Follow up to the summit – take obligatory photo
4. Head on the Old Indian Trail (yellow markers)
5. Go left on the West Side Trail
6. Cross the street to take Semuhenna Trail.
7. Go right to take the Harrington Trail – you’ll have to cross a couple of gravel roads
8. Head left at Stage Coach Trail and follow all the way down to the parking lot
9. Pass the little pond (possibly quickly because it gets incredibly buggy during the three seasons)
10. Step on to Echo Lake Trail to find, you guessed it, a lake! Hang out, throw some rocks, be a person
11. Follow the lake and go towards the left to jump on High Meadow Trail to see some neat apple trees
12. Take a right to follow Bicentennial Trail all the way to the parking lot
For those who prefer a visual description, please take a look at the image below:
Keep in mind that if hiking Wachusett during the winter, you will most likely need microspikes so that you don't slip on ice. Parking costs and park hours can be found here.