Forest Protection

Old Growth, Forest, and Open Space Protection and Management

Recreational Use and Habitat Protection

There are numerous stone walls on the upper slopes of this stand and an excellent view of Wachusett Lake from many areas in the stand. There is an old camp located high on the slope at a site which could be developed into a cross country ski lodge. The Mid-State Trail passes through this stand from east to west and several logging roads provide hiking and skiing opportunities. There is a small patch of spruce saplings located at the wall corner in the middle of this stand which is surrounded by several cull Pines.
This property offers excellent opportunity for developing recreational uses. It is the landowners goal to open up a network of trails, create vistas and manage wildlife habitat for the enjoyment of skiers and hikers. This parcel, in conjunction with two adjacent parcels under the same ownership offer unique opportunity to develop cross country ski and hiking trails throughout the property.

  • Wachusett has pledged to help fund a full-time ecologist for DCR for an ongoing program of ecological monitoring, research and management of the biological resources of the state reservation.
  • Studies have shown Massachusetts has a shortage of open meadow land (other state parks have cleared trees to create more open space.)  Ski trails create a perfect open meadow areas to foster biological diversity.
  • Wachusett has developed a program for rotation of mowing to foster a variety of meadow species including some rare naturally occurring plants.  Wachusett also adjusted the design layout of a trail in its new Vickery Bowl to afford more protection for the mountain laurel.

Old Growth Forest Management

Wachusett Mountain has the largest known stand of Old Growth Forest in Massachusetts.

Created an Old Growth Management Policy in conjunction with DCR in 1998 to help educate, protect and study the areas of old growth forest located on the mountain.  This includes monitoring all snowmaking to prevent excessive ice on trees within the old growth; annual inspection with DCR of hazard trees that may need removal; with DCR constant monitoring and patrolling of old growth areas to prevent unauthorized access.

Protecting the Old Growth Forest

Summer
When hiking on Wachusett Mountain, please stay on hiking trails. Take care not to disturb wildlife and the environment around you. Make sure all items you bring with you on your hike go home with you.
Winter
As you use the mountain for skiing and snowboarding, you have an important responsibility of helping to protect the old growth forest. Do not ski or snowboard in the Old Growth forest. Anyone found entering old growth areas will have their lift ticket revoked. Subsequent offenses will be subject to fines.
If you see anyone entering old growth areas, please report them to the ski patrol. For more information, call the State Reservation at 978-464-2987.