Wachusett Mountain and the Climb to the Clouds

My most memorable visit to Wachusett Mountain was on a bike. The Charles River Wheelmen run The Climb to the Clouds each summer. The ride is sixty miles, starting at Nashoba Regional High School, climbing up Mt. Wachusett and back to Bolton.

The highlight of the ride is the steady 9% grade from the ski lodge to the Visitors Center at the State Park. It’s a lung-busting, thigh-burning, unrelenting climb. Finally, at the Visitors Center, you get a brief rest of flat roads. Then its a charge to the summit. That stretch to the summit is more undulating, but still up and up and up.

In the picture at the summit of Mt. Wachusetts, that’s Action Dave on the left, me on the right, Pete and the back and another Kosmic Karma team rider in the front as part of the 2004 ride.

The view at the top is tremendous. At least once my vision came back after the dismounting from my bike and finally being able to breathe.

After the climb, the ride down is a bit sketchy, flying over switchbacks and tight turns. It really opens up after you get past the visitor center and ride wide, straight roads back down to the flats. I hit 42 MPH according to a traffic radar sign sitting on the side of the road.

Mt. Wachusett State Park is yet another of the 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts I have visited.

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