By David Schissler
(March 2015) Tom Meyers, Marketing Director at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA, is on a mission. No matter how near or far you’ve traveled to the mountain, Tom wants you to feel as if you’re on vacation. The idea is to create an environment where customers relax, take advantage of the services offered, and simply enjoy being outside in winter. With 1,000 vertical feet, a modern, spacious base lodge, terrain parks, a big air bag, night skiing, the Bullock Lodge and being home to the only three high-speed quads in Massachusetts, (only Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires has another high-speed lift, a six-pack), Wachusett has a big mountain resort feel. Even the scenery contributes to the impression. Looking out from the mountain you would have no idea you’re a short ride from Worcester and Boston.
I’ve been skiing Wachusett for a number of years now but until recently managed to miss a charming New England aspect of the mountain. I’m talking about the Bullock Lodge Cider House. It’s a stone cabin built in the 1930’s as an economic stimulus project by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It served as the original base lodge for the ski area. Inside, visitors are treated to fresh donuts, homemade vanilla ice cream with maple syrup (I can personally recommend this) assorted pastries, coffee, hot chocolate and hot and cold cider of course. All presented by The Red Apple Farm from Phillipston, MA. It’s a popular spot and rightfully so. It’s located on the lower mountain between Salamander Cutoff and Lower 10th Mountain trails. Don’t miss it.
Here’s a tip from Tom himself. Don’t miss skiing down the Balance Rock trail. He took me on a tour recently and showed me the route down his favorite trail. Take the Polar Express Quad to the summit. On skier’s right you’ll see the sign for Balance Rock. As you go along you’ll cut across Conifer Connection and ski to Middle Balance Rock. From there you do a short stint on Mass Pike East. This connector is actually part of the paved summer road to the summit. It’s unique since it’s the only trail I know with a stop sign. From there cut back across Conifer Connection again to Lower Balance Rock. The trail empties onto the Lower 10th Mountain trail and the Bullock Lodge. I know it sounds a little involved but it’s pretty simple and worth the effort. Give it a try and chances are you’ll find yourself all alone on this classic blue, narrow New England trail with nicely groomed packed powder. For more info:http://www.wachusett.com