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“Day hike with beautiful views and varying levels of difficulty!”
— Aly Kingstone
This is a 3.2 mile loop hike that Summits Mount Watatic, hits a lookout spot just beyond the summit, and loops around to Nutting Hill. It has access to the Wapack and Midstate trails for longer excursions! Great family hike! Dog friendly, as long as they are on a leash!
Mount Watatic is a 1,832 foot (558 m) monadnock located just south of the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border, at the southern end of the Wapack Range of mountains. It lies within Ashburnham, Massachusetts, Ashby, Massachusetts, and New Ipswich, New Hampshire; the 22 miles (35 km) Wapack Trail and the 92 miles (148 km) Midstate Trail both cross the mountain. The Yellow Arrow trail is 1.1 mile.
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Spring — Wildlife
Need to Know
Small creek crossing within your first .25 miles. Nothing major and it is currently a high water season. Should be crossable in most conditions
This was a great hike that took a leisurely pace of about 3 hours. The initial trail lead straight to the summit of Mount Watatic where there were beautiful views. We then head east to an even better baldface lookout and enjoyed lunch with several other day hikers. Heading to the interersection of the MidState and Wapack trails you looped NW and eventually S. This loop includes Nutting hill which is a good rocky resting spot, but with little to no views as it is below the tree line.
The initial climb up to Watatic was steep and had several rocks and boulders which causes you to work up a sweat. The decline and eventual incline to Nutting Hill was minimal and the trail back down to the parking lot was gradual and enjoyable. Most of the trail was covered in various rocks, but a trail just on the edge was clear that you could use to follow along.
BEWARE that there are many trails that go off of this. We started down the road from the Summit that had electric poles set up and had to circle back to the lookout spot. Also when you leave the summit there is a sign for "Access road", that is not the trail. We went down that a bit and had to cut over on a small trail to the left to get back on to the main trail. After this you intersect with the Stateline and Wapack trails if you are looking to ultramarathon, or do a backpacking excursion!
Overall a relatively easy hike but with a great reward! Account for 4 hours of daylight when doing this hike, eventhough it is typically completed in well under three!
History & Background
Mount Watatic was the site of a ski area that operated from 1965 until 1984. An attempt to reopen the ski area in 1988 failed. The bald summit of the mountain featured a fire tower, open to the public, until its removal in 1996.
In 2000, the summit of the mountain was sold to Industrial Communications and Electronics for the development of a 150-foot (46 m) cellular telephone tower and a road to the summit. In 2002, prior to development of the communications tower, the mountain was purchased for $2,500,000 by the Ashby Land Trust, the Town of Ashby, the Ashburnham Conservation Trust, the Town of Ashburnham, Mass Dept of Fish and Wildlife and Mass Dept of Conservation and Recreation. Unfortunately by this point a road had already been blasted into the ski area (back) side of the mountain, making several of the still maintained ski trails unusable. The purchase resulted in the permanent protection of approximately 281 acres (1.14 km2) of the mountain, including the summit, as conserva