East Coast US, New England, Northeastern US, US High Points

On Top of Massachusetts: Mount Greylock

Today, we return to the “On Top of” series I began a while back as I recount our hike up the highest point in Massachusetts: Mount Greylock!

With an elevation of 3491 feet (1064 m), Mount Greylock is much taller than either of the previous state high points we’d visited (Connecticut and Rhode Island). It has a prominence of 2464 feet (751 m) which also makes it a more legitimate summit than many of the things that southern New England attempts to pass off as “mountains.” But I digress.

Mount Greylock is located in the Taconic Mountains in the northwest corner of Massachusetts. It can be summited by car or on foot, with views from the top extending out over the state and 4 of its neighbors. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts War Veterans Memorial Tower on the summit was closed for renovation when we were there so our views were somewhat limited.

There are multiple trails to the summit, all of which are encompassed within the boundaries of Mount Greylock State Reservation. For the life of me, I can’t remember which trail we took, and looking at the trail map didn’t jog my memory. I do know that we eventually connected up with the Appalachian Trail near a shelter and a small pond, and followed it the rest of the way to the summit.

Parts of the trail were much in need of an upgrade
Pond and an AT shelter



Looking east from the summit
Looking north from the summit
Pudgey on her 3rd state high point

For any Harry Potter fans out there… the summit of Mount Greylock is – according to J.K. Rowling – the site of Ilvermorny, the North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It’s only visible to wizards and witches, and we were unable to see it, so I guess that’s confirmation once and for all that neither of us have any magical abilities.

I’ve never been more disappointed in my entire life.

The Important Stuff:

  • Getting there: Mount Greylock State Reservation is in the northwestern corner of the state in the town of Adams, between US Highway 7 and MA Route 8
  • Fees and passes: free to park at the trailheads, $5-10 to park at the summit (dependent on state residency)
  • Camping: the park has walk-in camping only, though we didn’t spend the night; 18 sites, reservations required in the summer, $8-10 per night
  • Hiking: there are a ton of options for reaching this high point… here is the trail map
  • Other: the summit is above tree line so be prepared for all types of weather; also – as we learned the hard way – for the best views, check to make sure the tower is open before hiking all the way up

11 thoughts on “On Top of Massachusetts: Mount Greylock”

  1. I never heard that about JK Rowling and the NA School of Wizardry hahah maybe I’ll have better luck spotting it 😉 Id like to put this on my list for hikes this summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d never heard of it either until a friend asked me if I’d seen it, and I was super confused. You’ll have to let me know if you have any luck! Enjoy the hike 🙂


      1. Hmmm, that’s a good point. Where I live in California, there are hills {Californians call them mountains, but I don’t think a 3000 foot “mountain” is really a mountain, so I call it a hill}, that obstruct the view. Locally, the best place to go for a view unobstructed by trees or hills or buildings is the beach. Then, you can see for miles. Even topping out at one of our highest hills gives you a beautiful view, but not one where you can see for miles upon miles like you can in Colorado. It does feel a little claustrophobic sometimes 🙂 But…there’s always the beach, and that I can’t get in Colorado 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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