Mount Greylock

“The Most Excellent Purple Majesty of Greylock…” – Herman Melville

Dan Morgan, Spruce Hill Photography ©

3,491'

Mount Greylock

At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is not only the tallest mountain in Massachusetts but also the tallest in all of southern New England. The 12,500-acre Mount Greylock Reservation is the oldest Massachusetts wilderness park. The park spans five towns with the summit in Adams. The reservation includes the state’s only subalpine taiga-boreal forest. Old growth forests including remarkable stands of red spruce up to 120′ can be seen.

From late May through November 1, you can drive to the summit on two recently restored roads (weather permitting). The views are spectacular from the summit and several other spots along the roads.

Two interesting structures dating from the 1930 are found at the summit as well. The 93′ tall Veterans War Memorial Tower was completed in 1932. Bascom Lodge completed in 1938 is an Arts & Crafts style lodge built from stone and red spruce from Mount Greylock. Bascom Lodge is open seasonally for dining, lodging and events.

There are more than 50 miles of trails on Mount Greylock including the Appalachian Trail. Hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling (on designated trails) are permitted. Nature lovers will enjoy the rare plants, bird watching, waterfalls and wildlife. Park staff offers a full calendar or interpretive programs, guided hikes and other events. Many trails from the Reservation connect with trails at Greylock Glen.

The Thunderbolt

One trail on Mount Greylock is particularly famous. The Thunderbolt Ski Run was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp on the precipitous east face of the mountain. Steep, narrow and tricky, the Thunderbolt soon became popular. Through the 30s and 40s, world-class skiers would compete in downhill races on the Thunderbolt Ski Run. That tradition continues today with backcountry skiers and boarders traveling to Adams to challenge themselves on this historic backcountry Class A trail.  

Jeffrey J. Hughes ©