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.
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