State to open top of Wachusett Dam for rare tours

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation says it will open the top of Wachusett Dam in Clinton for guided walks this weekend.

The top of the dam has only infrequently been open since the 1990s. But in 2011, while updating the reservoir’s public access plan, the department says, it received a number of comments from people who wanted to walk across the dam.

The dam will be open Sunday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The department says it is developing a schedule with a few open days each year.

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Watershed rangers and other staff will be available to lead walks across the dam and provide other information.

The department’s Division of Water Supply Protection is responsible for protecting the metropolitan Boston water supply, which includes the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reported last October on a one-day opening of the dam, saying the last time the walkway had been open before that was 2005 for the 100th anniversary of the last stone being placed in the dam. The top of the dam is usually closed due to security and public safety concerns, the agency said.