|Windmill just off Harrington|
I was hoping to find something that would still provide a decent hike sans the long drive, and finally settled on Mt. Wachusett in MA - high point of Worcester county and the 92-mile long Midstate Trail, topping out at 2006 feet. While the peak seemed to be more famous for its skiing than anything else, I figured it would still provide enough mileage on the trails that circle the park to make up for lack of elevation gain. I styled a 7.5 mile fancy twisted figure-eight loop based on this trail description, which sounded like a good way to cover most of the trails in the reservation and give us a good feeling for the area.
Our first stop was a little side trail to the windmill farm, where we peered through rain-clogged eyelashes at the white towers. Our observation of the windmills was sadly short-lived, as we quickly realized that the mosquitoes were not being dampened by the weather whatsoever, and we bid a hasty retreat while slapping, scratching and belatedly trying to spray ourselves down with repellent - a somewhat pathetic endeavor, as the rain had gained even more enthusiasm and was washing away the spray as quickly as we could attempt to get it on.
|Waterfall of a trail|
|Fire tower at summit|
|A regal toad on the trail|
|Another eft hanging out|
|Echo Lake Reflection|
We were more than ready for warm beverages and a hot shower at this point, and were excited to get on our way home, although I had a feeling we would return to Wachusett at some point - if for nothing else, to see what kind of view was to actually be had from the top.