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April Winter hiking at Mt Watatic
http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9532
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Author:  iagreewithjamie [ Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:04 am ]
Post subject:  April Winter hiking at Mt Watatic

I haven't been on one hike since the kids were born in January, so when we were awarded with a foot of snow on April 1, I sweet talked the wife into giving me a morning to hike. Options for a short day are Wachusett or Watatic, and we didn't get enough down here... so off to Ashburnham.

I used snowshoes up and back. There were some people before me who used spikes all the way up, leaving a trail of 8inch deep holes in the trail. Fortunately, the snow was soft and I was able to pack the trail down proper.

My Atlas snowshoes have an aggressive crampon and televators, so a few times I skipped off the trail to tackle the hill head on (if you've done Watatic, you know the part I'm talking about). Saved lots of time.

While not the most interesting hike, it's definitely the best hike east of the Holyokes in Massachusetts. Here's a few pics of the day.

1. Approaching the sub-peak.
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2. Beautiful view of the Wapack Range
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3. Wachusett in the distance... where most of my friends were
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4. Three people came before me
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5. So I added my snowball to the guest registry
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6. There's a little ledge at Watatic that's off trail. It's always quiet, and offers the only due-east view on the mountain.
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All in all, I had a great time. The warm temps kept the snow soft, and made for some wonderful glissading back to the car. I spent 2 hours in the woods.

Author:  Granite Guy [ Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: April Winter hiking at Mt Watatic

Congrats on getting back out there. I'm sure having twins makes it harder than having just one, and even that always cut down on my time in the woods. I snuck away for a lot of smaller local conservation area hikes when the kids were real little and enjoyed them a lot. Found places I could take them as they grow. Made me appreciate all the time I could get away be it on a big mountain, local trail, night hike when everyone else was in bed. Whatever.

Watatic looks like a nice little peak. Does it thaw early in spring like the Blue Hills do? I'm always looking for new places to take the kids while NH thaws out. Any trail reccomendations that are more interesting/Scenic than others?

Author:  iagreewithjamie [ Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: April Winter hiking at Mt Watatic

Granite Guy wrote:
Watatic looks like a nice little peak. Does it thaw early in spring like the Blue Hills do? I'm always looking for new places to take the kids while NH thaws out. Any trail reccomendations that are more interesting/Scenic than others?


It's usually pretty quick to thaw out. There are three approaches, all pretty good. You can do a loop trail from the main lot on 119 that also crosses Nutting Hill. You can do the "up" trail which is a straight line from 119 to the saddle between the two little peaks. Or you can come from the north on Bennett Rd. The Bennett Rd one has tons of options as it contains relics from the old ski area, and the old ski trails have grown in to the point where they're a nice network of unmarked hiking trails

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