Be part of the special few that view the annual Fall hawk migration over the summit of Mount Wachusett in Princeton. Come visit the 3000-acre Wachusett Mountain State Reservation for this breathtaking spectacle of thousands of hawks migrating south during the month of September (sometimes stretching into October).
The stunning vista encompasses Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire, the Berkshires to the west, and the Boston skyline to the east.
Optimal viewing is a matter of Mother Nature smiling on the migrants. Flying patterns depend on the weather – the direction of the wind (best when it’s out of the north), the existence of thermals (making coasting easier), and the presence of clouds.
The two best viewing locations are from the summit and from the down-summit road in “the Oxbow” section of the park. Friendly raptor-watchers will be happy to share their knowledge with you. Bring your binoculars or a telescope, and prepare for a view to take your breath away! You can also enjoy 17 miles of hiking and walking trails, including the 3.0-mile Midstate Trail, which runs from Ashburnham to the Rhode Island Border.
Contact the park’s John Hitchcock Visitor’s Center at (978) 464-2987 for more information. The Visitors Center hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in September and into October. Call to check on hours as they may change during the month of October.
For directions, trail maps and more information, visit www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/wach.htm. Go to Northeast Hawk Watch’s website www.battaly.com/nehw to view hawk migration reports and get a downloadable hawk silhouette guide. For more detailed information, visit Mass Audubon's hawk page.
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