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"Massachusetts: Mount Greylock State Reservation" United States of America Off The Beaten Path Tip by Stephen-KarenConn

  War Veterans Memorial Tower atop Mount Greylock
by Stephen-KarenConn

In the northwestern corner of Massachusetts stands a mountain named for the fact that its peak is often locked in grey clouds, so it is called Mount Greylock. Even in a small state like Massachusetts, those who venture here will find themselves a world apart from the better known tourist areas of Boston and the Atlantic coast.

The day I visited here in mid-October, the mountain lived up to its name, with heavily overcast skies and a light rain falling. Although a road leads to the top of the mountain, I chose to hike up via the Appalachian Trail which passes through the reservation and over the top of the 3,491-foot peak, the highest in the state. Because of the drizzle I was draped with a poncho which caused me to work up a sweat during the steep ascent, so I was wet with perspiration instead of rain. I'm not sure which is worse.

At the top is an unusual art-deco War Veterans Memorial Tower which was actually first designed to be a lighthouse in Boston Harbor. It was erected here atop Mount Greylock in 1932, and restored in 1975. I'm told that on a clear day one can see for 100 miles from the top. The view was limited during my visit because of the clouds and rain. Near the tower is Bascomb Lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. There are accomodations here for 32 people, and also camping areas are nearby.

Mount Greylock State Reservation is one of Massachusetts' oldest and largest state parks. It is a favorite destination for hikers, with 45 miles of trails, including a portion of the famous 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail.
Although the park itself is closed in winter, The Appalachian Trail never closes. However, off-season hikers should be both prepared and cautious. Recently a troup of 11 boy scouts and 3 of their leaders were hospitalized for frostbite after being stranded on Mount Greylock during a sub-zero blizzard.

Mid-May - Mid-October
daily, 9-5

Rockwell Road
Lanesborough, MA 01237

Phone: 1-413-499-4262

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 2, 2005
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