Mount Watatic
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Route 119, Ashburnham, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:; 978-597-8802

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

USGS Ashburnham

A challenging hike to the summit of Mount Watatic (1,832 feet) is a rewarding accomplishment for kids. They’ll enjoy the rocky scramble to the top, and the great views once they get there.

The hike up Mount Watatic covers varied terrain, including networks of tree roots.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Mount Watatic, on the Massachusetts–New Hampshire border, has an elevation of 1,832 feet, offering some steep, rocky sections to climb. From the parking lot, follow yellow blazes to hike a little bit over a mile to the summit. The hike will take about an hour, so you can plan on frequent breaks for water and rest, if needed. This is a great hike for families with older kids who are ready for a challenge.

When you reach the top, you’ll be able to see the Berkshires and the Green Mountains to the west, Boston to the southeast, and the White Mountains to the north. On the way back, the trail is marked with blue blazes. As always, wear proper footgear and don’t forget your water. You and the kids will need it.

If you visit from mid-September through October, you may see legions of people armed with binoculars watching thousands of hawks in the midst of migration—Watatic is one of the best places to watch the migration. The mountain is also popular for winter hikes.

Remember: While this may not be a long hike, it can be tough going. Younger children not used to hiking may have a hard time.

Plan B:

For an easier mountain trek, visit Rhododendron State Park (Trip 96) and climb Little Monadnock Mountain.

Where to Eat Nearby:

As you drive along MA 119, you’ll see places to stop for food.


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