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Painting by Lily Azerad-Goldman
Wachusett Mountain and the Wachusett Village Inn and Conference Center

-by Norm Goldman
Paintings by Lily Azerad-Goldman

If you are not from Massachusetts, you probably never heard of Wachusett Mountain, let alone being able to pronounce it as easily as the local inhabitants do.

The name “Wachusett” means “By the Great Hill” in Algonquin, a dialect spoken by the Nipmuck Native People, who at one time inhabited a village at the base of the mountain.

During the early Colonial period the mountain was an important center for the Native People, and was a focal point for their assembly during King Philip's War-1675-6.

A century later it served as a gathering place during the French and Native People’s War.

It certainly is a great hill, if one of the icons of nineteenth-century American literary culture, Henry David Thoreau, devoted an entire essay, Walk To Wachusett, where he poetically describes this magnificent mountain as being the “observatory of the state.”

Located in the heart of Central Massachusetts, and less than an hour and half easy driving time from Boston, Providence, Hartford, and Nashua, the mountain is the highest point in Central Massachusetts east of the Berkshires, having a height of 2006 feet.

Million of years ago the mountain may have been thousands of feet higher, however, due to erosion, wind and glacial activity the mountain has been reduced to its present height.

If you hike, cross country ski, snow shoe, or walk the mountain’s seventeen miles of trails, you will come across vibrant three-hundred-year-old trees, making it the largest known area of old growth forest east of the Connecticut River.

Upon reaching its summit, a treat is in store: a 360- degree view of southern New England including Mount Monadnock and the Boston skyline. Thoreau remarked: “there lay Massachusetts, spread out before us, in its length and breadth, like a map.”

In 1962 Wachusett Mountain Associates, owned by the Crowley family, natives of Worcester and owners of the Polar Beverage opened up a ski area in co-operation with the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation. Eventually, in 1984 the area had been expanded making it the largest downhill skiing area in eastern Massachusetts.

It is also one of the busiest ski centers in eastern USA, and throughout the year there are music festivals, wine and jazz celebrations, antique car shows, and various other “happenings.”

What is noteworthy is that in keeping with the spirit of responsible environmental conservation that had been alluded to by Thoreau, the ski area managers have comprehensively implemented state-of-the art environmental programs.

In this way, the residents and visitors are assured that the natural resources of the region will be protected.


A few minutes away from the mountain is the Wachusett Village Inn & Conference Center, owned by the same Crowley family who manage the ski center.

The original inn that opened in 1953 had six guest rooms. Over the years the inn has undergone extensive renovations. During the late 1980s thirty more rooms were added, as well as an indoor and outdoor pool, a conference center and two outdoor tennis courts.

In 1997, seeing the perfect fit between the inn and the ski area, a mere two miles away, the Crowley family purchased the inn and enlarged it to the present day seventy- four rooms that includes traditional guest rooms, deluxe suites with fireplaces, efficiencies and cottages.

Convenience is the key to the design of the inn. The rooms are unpretentious, comfy, airy and neat, and the setting, within its 100 wooded acres, provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy beautiful romantic walks exploring the countryside.

If you are visiting the inn during the winter months, try and arrange for a room with a fireplace. There is nothing like sipping a glass of chardonnay or pinot noir, sprawling out in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night, reading the poetry of Emerson or the essays of Thoreau.

No matter when you visit the inn, a visit to the Inn Club is a must, where you will find a sauna, hot tub, steam room, extensive exercise equipment, tanning, personal training, water aerobics, and you can even arrange for a Swedish massage therapy.

And don’t forget to arrange for a wagon ride that is offered throughout the year.


The inn operates dining facilities that are as popular with their overnight guests as with the locals.

The main dining room offers fine regional, classical and seasonal cuisine, a fireplace and a warm country décor.

Also, is the inn’s café overlooking the outdoor pool, and from time to time during the summer months there are barbeques and New England clambakes.

Painting by Lily Azerad-Goldman

Due to its close proximity to Boston, the inn prides itself as being an ideal wedding destination.

There is something to be said about the element of nostalgia that seems to attract us to a particular locale. That is why many former college and university students of the area often choose the inn as a venue for their wedding, anniversary, romantic getaways, or wedding rehearsal dinners.

It is here, where, perhaps, they may have met their partner or where they created lasting friendships among their college buddies. These memories usually remain as vivid as photographs.

An added incentive to celebrate these special occasions at the inn is their vast know-how in providing unique theme weddings, such as: Hawaiian, Medieval, Cinderella or whatever suits your fancy.

These can be celebrated in the garden area or the outdoor patio.

There is even a state-of-the art tent that is ideal for gatherings of up to 480 persons.

If you prefer the more traditional celebration or if the season is not conducive to an outdoor wedding, you can move indoors to one of the inn’s spacious reception rooms.

Among the “goodies” included in the inn’s wedding packages are: a deluxe honeymoon suite for the bride and groom, half-hour horse and carriage ride with their own white wedding carriage, special room rates for the guests, bridal hospitality room, chocolate fountain with biscotti, wedding cake, and a complimentary wedding tasting for the bride and groom.


Wachusett Village Inn & Conference Center
9 Village Road, Westminster, Massachusetts, 01473

Tel: 800-342-1905

Directions to Wachusett Mountain



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