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Tromping through the woods of Mt. Greylock

Mt. Greylock State Reservation
Lanesborough, MA
Mt. Greylock State Reservation Lanesborough, MA
Jenny deMars

Last weekend we decided to head over to the Berkshires and explore Mt. Greylock. Mt Greylock is Massachusetts' highest mountain at an elevation of 3,491 feet. There are 70 miles of hiking trails and many different ways to access the summit. We drove through Pittsfield and parked at the southern entrance where the visitor's center is located (30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA). Rockwell road is on the left and during the months of May - November, you can drive to the summit. The road was of course closed on our late January visit so we were left to our own two feet to make the hike. However, the distance to the summit is 8 miles and we didn't have enough time (or stamina, quite honestly) to make it to the top and then back down. The summit will remain a mystery to me until another visit, maybe in the late spring.

From the visitor's center at Mt. Greylock, we took the Bradley Farm Trail which connects to the Woodason Spring Trail, designated for foot traffic. The snow was fairly packed down while were were there and it did not require snowshoes. However, much of this hike is uphill and having some traction would be helpful. From what I have read, hiking around Mt. Greylock in the winter is for the hearty and snowshoes are often very necessary. Having said that, we had our two year old with us and he did just fine! I would recommend checking the forecast before making the trip and throwing some snowshoes in the car just in case. The trails are lovely in the snow and this specific trail will lead you over creeks and give you a real wilderness experience.

The Berkshires are well-known for being an artist's mecca. The landscape has inspired the likes of Edith Wharton, Norman Rockwell, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Henry David Thoreau. Today, the area is home to many museums, and really comes alive during the summer months when there are many theatre and music festivals. I enjoy visiting places during the off-season when tourism is low and you can see places for what they simply are. The trees have dropped their leaves, snow blankets the ground, and you're left with a very comforting quiet. 

We barely made a dent into hiking Mt. Greylock and are already planning our next trip back, but plan on entering from the North Adams area and taking the Appalachian Trail.  The area has a lot to offer and we are lucky that those who lived before us had the foresight to preserve parks such as this one. It's inspiring and humbling to think that we too are able to walk in the same woods that inspired the works of great writers and painters. In a world that is moving so quickly, it's no wonder that the need to enjoy nature remains timeless. 

For more information, visit the following websites or call the Mt. Greylock State Reservation at 413.499.4262

http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/mtGreylock/index.htm

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/150465/mount-greylock.html

http://www.mountainsummits.com/mountains/massachusetts/greylock.htm

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