I am finally home and exhausted but I will try to tell you all the details about today. The first picture is a little out of order but I felt like it could be a header so I used it first.
I had a loose plan but I wasn't thrilled with it. I didn't really want to do out and double back on the same trail. I wanted to cover as much of the area as I could but not use the multiple roads either dirt or paved so I could get the most time in the woods. I will add when I crossed them the dirt roads were pretty rural but I am extremely happy with my hike.
I decided to just head out right from the Visitors Center where I got their large map (for free).The lot closed and was gated at 4pm. It was 10am. I quickly read through their time estimates and figured if it was running late I would just turn around and head back here. It seemed to be a good center place. I started on the Bicentennial Trail and took the 1st right which was the Pine Tree trail right to the Summit. Let's get that over with. Half a mile up stone stairs to the Summit. Way to break a sweat right away.
I had called ahead and was told that half the Old Indian Trail was closed because Wachusett Mountain ski resort was open with 3 runs but I could easily jump on the Semuhenna trail to continue on. Because the weather was so beautiful and about 48 I was not the only person who decided to be out. After leaving the Summit I encountered about half a dozen people heading up. I was happy to hear that they had all dodged the skiers and crossed and no one minded. They said a few snowboarders even waved. Fantastic!
As you can see the lifts look sad for December 12th and the man made snow ridiculous but I am sure the skiers were thrilled to be out in this weather too.
At the end of the Old Indian Trail and across a section of the Summit road you find this. I read that these rocks came to rest after a glacier piled them this way. It was pretty cool.
After checking them out and reaching the farthest point of the park I planned on going I turned around and made my way back to the Semuhenna trail and used that to head back across the other side of the Summit. By cutting across that one ski trail I was able to do these 2 trails completely! I loved this trail. It had a section that was full of huge pines which gave it a cool forest feel which is rare for this time of year. It also bought us close to the other lift that was open so although the feel was great the noise increased too.
At this point I was getting some leg cramps if I stepped deep so it was time to work on that. Water and luckily I brought some Powerade this time and drank all of that as I made my way around a short but steep Link trail to the Mountain House trail. I decided to stop and eat a banana and peanut butter. After all this the legs quick bitching.
At the bottom of the Mountain House I was back on the Bicentennial but maybe half a mile back from where I jumped off to start. This was probably my second favorite trail. It was like jumping from rock to rock. I even lost the trail a few times but just kept moving with the sun to my back. The parts that were more regular dirt trails were narrow and beautiful.
The complete hike was a little over 5 miles according to Runkeeper. Took 2 hours and 40 miles and burned 1309 calories. I wore my heart monitor out of curiosity and found the actually calories burned about 20 more than Runkeepers estimate. I quit enjoyed this hike and was happy to see so much of the Mountain. It was busier and noisier than I would have liked but happy to have had the experience.