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“Using a few different trails (and one road,) hike a nice loop up and down Mt. Wachusett.”
— Jess Scolnic
Little bit of a scramble up some rocky sections on the way up after a crazy nice viewpoint. Way down is extremely friendly -- gentle grade and gorgeous leafy scenery.
Features: Lake — Views
Family Friendly: Fun rocks, water to splash in, and a nice view of windmills.
Park on Westminster road by the Harrington Trailhead. You'll probably see some other cars parked along the road.
Follow the Harrington trail all the way to the summit. About 3/4 of the way up there is a little spur to the right that takes you to the best (uncrowded!) viewpoint. You'll only spot the "vista" sign if you happen to sit on a rock and face downhill at the right moment (as I happened to!)
After the vista you'll cross Administration Road. Keep going.... there is some rock scrambling, but plenty to grab onto. Would be a little treacherous in wet conditions, but we were there on a gorgeous sunny day.
At the summit, take a break and wander around (and count the number of people who say "I think that's Mt. Manadnock in the distance!") Then cut across the parking lot and find the Mountain House Trail.
At the first major junction, split from the Mountain House Trail onto the Jack Frost Trail.There is one somewhat steep section, but footing is well maintained and we had no issues. Be a little wary of loose rocks.
At the next junction, split off onto the High Meadow Trail. This will take you to Echo lake, where there's a nice wall to sit on and hang out. We saw some amazing dragonflies and salamanders!
Continue on Echo Lake road around the lake (across a small bridge) until you can pick up the Echo Lake Trail. Shortly, this will leave you out on Westminster road. Take a right (you'll pass two gated trails) and go about a 10 minute walk back to the car.
Flora & Fauna
Saw some really nice ferns on the way down, and some great blue dragonflies near a small lake.