This is a fun up and down route that I take when I have more time and want to hit my favorite spots on the mountain, and not necessarily spend much time at the summit. Pine Hill to Mountain House to Jack Frost to High Meadow to Bicentennial to Mountain House to Loop to Bicentennial.
You can see some amazing old trees with character on this hike.
Start at the Visitor's center - definitely a pit stop as this is a longer hike! To get warmed up head across the bridge in the parking lot and head up to the Pine Hill Trail. Remember to stop for a drink on the way up and while you are resting turn around and look for the views, they will emerge after you are about half way up. At the road you can go to the top or bypass it by heading to the left. and picking up Mountain House Trail as it crosses the road (on the left after the road goes to the summit). During the summer watch for car and bike traffic on the road!
As you head down Mountain House watch for Jack Frost on the right. Take that down through hemlock trees, it's usually nice and cool here in the summer. There are some pretty old hemlocks here. As the trail levels out the High Meadow trail starts on the left. In the winter you will often see the trees here frosted with ice on one side and sometimes horizontal icicles. High Meadow will twist and turn a bit, and also have some steep down hills over the rocks. You'll need to be agile to get down through here. There are some big twisted old trees to be seen in this area, a few have come down recently :^( As the trail levels out at the bottom you will see the Bicentennial trail head off on the left. You might want to stop in the field to check out the view and then walk back up to the trail. Keep watching for those old trees and you descend through the woods to the Mountain House Trail. You'll see/hear Mountain road off to the right. I head back up on the Mountain House trail for more exercise and because I like it better than the Bicentennial trail. Once you reach the Loop trail, take that on the right and head back down for the final time. You will intercept the Bicentennial trail again just before the base of Pine Hill and you are almost done!
During the late spring and early summer keep an eye out too for some of the delicate wild flowers growing along the trail.
Rt 140 to Mountain Rd (Wachusett Ski Area signs). Go past the ski area, up to the top of the hill where the dcr Visitor's center will be on the right.
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