Hike of Wachusett Reservoir

Sterling & Boylston, MA

March 17th, 2013

The ground in Worcester may have been bare, but beneath the trees at Wachusett Reservoir there was still a white blanket of snow as the five of us began our hike. However there was no snow trekking for us because our 1.5 mile trail down to Greenhalge Point had been plowed!

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Group on trail
Timber harvest The trail was actually an access road in use for watershed management, and at one point along the way we passed huge piles of freshly cut timber.
Greg at Greenhalge Point The real fun started when we reached the water's edge and began meticulously exploring every little nook and cranny along the shore. Greg heads across the field to get a closer look.

Greenhalge Point is a peninsula that juts out into the middle of the reservoir. To our south the reservoir was still frozen solid, while to the north the ice yielded to open waters.

Northern view Southern view

Christian is meticulously capturing Greenhalge Point in pictures as Kirsten and Sarah inspect the ice formations along the shoreline.

Christian Kirsten and Sarah

Christian's photo talents pay off with impressive shots of the trees at Greenhalge Point and of an unusual, mirror smooth patch of ice well offshore.

Tree formation Mirror ice
Dry & wet rocks At water's edge, dry rocks and wet rocks, along with some amazing examples of Mother Nature's artwork embedded in the ice. (Click to view larger.)
Patterns in ice Fizzures in ice
Continuing north along the shore, Sarah, Kirsten, Stefan and Christian check out some interesting shapes of floating ice. Kirsten snaps off an ice spear, which we thought could have made a good door wedge too, especially if the door happened to be to an igloo. Kirsten with ice spear
Sarah, Kirsten, Stefan & Christian
North end of reservoir The reservoir's pure waters at the northern end were an inspiring sight. But further ahead we could see white caps on the surface, foretelling that we were about to face a stiff headwind as soon as we rounded the bend.
Group at reservoir Sure enough, right as we rounded the bend conditions went from completely calm to full force wind. We withsood it long enough for a blustery group photo before veering back into the woods to escape the chill.
Deer As we hiked back to the van, a surprise encounter on the trail which Christian captures with his zoom lens. After a 2-minute standoff, we advance a few more steps and the deer wanders off into the woods, followed closely by what we presume to be her fawn.

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