Mount Greylock, the highest point in the state of Massachusetts
Mount Greylock - MA Travel Blog› entry 824 of 1090 › view all entries
It is certainly a remarkable meteorological year this year. We had yet another heat wave forecasted for the city. Reason enough to go far away, to do a hike from my hike book that I had never done before, since it is pretty far.
I had to go to the state of Massachusetts' most north western part which is slightly north east of Albany New York. Just behind the NY-MA border one can find Massachusetts' oldest state reservation: Mount Greylock State Reservation. Mount Greylock is one of the peaks in the reserve. It is, with an altitude of 1063 meters (3489 ft), the highest point in the state. Yet, if it had been in the Catskills, it would not have made its way into the Catskill High Peaks. But that does not mean it is easy to hike to the top.
The mountain has always been involved in a lot of activity. It was/is used for research, basic and extensive skiing, hiking, driving, lodging, hang gliding, etc. It is said that author Herman Melville was inspired by the mountain's whale shape to write his famous novel "Moby Dick".
In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps, the work stimulation project of President Roosevelt, built and improved a lot of roads and viewpoints on the mountain. Since then it is possible to drive up to the mountain. From 1931-1932 a memorial, the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower, was constructed on the summit.
The CCC also constructed a real lodge at the summit, Bascom Lodge. It is still in use and gives a very Alps-like feeling.
In 1935 serious skiing commenced at the mountain when the Thunderbolt Ski Run was completed. This ambitious, man built skiing slope was soon named the most thrilling skiing route in the country. It hosted several championships. And no, at that time skiers just had to climb the mountain, no ski lifts! The trail became in disuse after the 1950s. Since the 1990s it is partly in use again, but still no lifts!
Apart from driving to the top there are several routes to hike to the summit.
My effort to be the highest person in the state failed. It was impossible to be the only person at the view level of the monument. So I only made it to one of the two highest persons in the state.
I hiked down via a small section of the Thunderbolt Ski Run, which is indeed pretty steep, narrow and overgrown with vegetation. A perfect and interesting hike, the only drawback was the weather. It had been clouded the whole hike, and exactly when I descended to start level, just minutes away from my car the sun finally broke through...
More pictures below.